Environmental Policy News

Louisiana Governor Orders Adherence to Coastal Master Plan

Governor John Bel Edwards has issued an executive order directing all Louisiana state agencies to operate in a manner consistent with the Coastal Master Plan.

“The Louisiana coast is vital to our heritage and our economy, which is why doing everything within our power to ensure that it is restored and protected must be a priority,” said Gov. Edwards. “The Coastal Master Plan provides safe and sustainable ways in which all departments can operate thereby helping to ensure that the coast continues to be productive.”

Using science based evidence, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) has developed projects detailed in the Coastal Master Plan that will help reduce flooding and rebuild wetlands. These projects are the state’s best chance of preventing land loss, saving the coast and protecting our communities and businesses.

“Facing an historic budget deficit this year, we were able to use non-coastal BP dollars to help with the FY 2016 budget, however no dollars designated for restoring the coast were used,” Gov. Edwards continued. “I will continue to only spend money allocated for coastal projects on coastal issues. Using our funds responsibly assures Congress that we are serious about saving our coast and deserving of the federal dollars needed to preserve Louisiana’s coast for generations to come.”

“We only need to look to the recent wave of severe weather throughout our coastal zone which exposed many of our people to flooding they have never experienced in order to understand that when the coast erodes so does the valuable protection it provides,” said Edwards. “Each year we lose a substantial amount of wetlands and that must be stopped. The protection and abundant resources provided by our coast are too important to our state and our nation.”

“Restoration projects developed by the Coastal Master Plan are working,” said CPRA Chairman Johnny Bradberry. “Approximately 40,000 football fields of land have been rebuilt since 2009 and the list goes on. We look forward to working with all state agencies to help build on the successes achieved so far.”

The Governor’s order can be viewed here.

What CPRA has accomplished to date:
• $18 billion secured for protection and restoration projects
• 112.3 million cubic yards of fill placed (or now being placed)
• 30,637 acres of land benefited (about 40,000 football fields)
• 274 miles of levee improvement
• 52 miles of barrier islands and berms constructed or under construction
• 20 parishes with constructed projects
• 9 active dredges in 2015
• A 2011 Green Jobs Study showed that CPRA restoration spending of $618 million resulted in 8,900 total jobs and $1.1 billion in sales

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