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Louisiana Coastal Master Plan Passes Legislature
The Louisiana Legislature has unanimously approved the state’s 2012 comprehensive coastal restoration and hurricane protection master plan. The plan has been widely applauded by coastal restoration scientists and engineers and conservation organizations across the country as the most aggressive and scientifically based coastal restoration and protection plan ever devised for the state. The plan lays out a blueprint for building an estimated $50 billion in restoration and protection projects over the next 50 years. Included are a host of large-scale, sediment-moving diversions from the Mississippi River both to the east and west to restore marshes ravaged by saltwater intrusion and subsidence. The plan also calls for several large marsh building projects using sediment dredged from offshore deposits or from dredging of the Mississippi River and other navigation channels. And, the plan calls for the elevation of homes across the coast to make communities more resilient against hurricanes and tropical storms.
State coastal planners worked extensively with coastal residents, fishermen, hunters, landowners and conservation organizations like Louisiana Wildlife Federation and National Wildlife Federation to develop the plan and ensure as many stakeholders as possible had a chance to participate in crafting the plan. LWF worked with state planners after the release of the draft plan to organize meetings in which sportsmen and coastal residents could ask questions to state officials about the plan and how it would affect different coastal regions. LWF staff and members also poured through the draft plan and provided extensive comments to the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.
This is a conservation victory and an important milestone for the communities and wildlife that depend on a healthy, sustainable coast. We applaud the state, other organizations and citizens who worked to make this a plan that is more comprehensive and specific than any before it. We can build land and it's time to accelerate that work.