Update: The Draft 2023 Coastal Master Plan has now been released and is available for public review. Read more in the LWF blog.
Louisiana Wildlife Federation participated in a recent series of community conversations co-hosted by the Restore the Mississippi Delta Coalition, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), and other local community partners. These informational meetings were set up to discuss the upcoming 2023 Coastal Master Plan (Master Plan) – which is currently being updated. The Master Plan will lay out goals for restoration and priority projects along the Louisiana coast for the next six years.
Meetings were held in Abbeville, Belle Chasse, Gonzales, Grand Lake, Gretna, Lacombe, Larose, New Orleans, and Violet. The meetings were offered as an opportunity for communities across the coast to engage directly with the Coastal Master Plan team to discuss the plan and what it means for their communities and the entire coast.
Communities were presented with updated land loss maps and given a breakdown of the project selection process, which uses updated modeling with the best available science to choose projects with the greatest potential for building and maintaining land across coastal Louisiana.
Following this overview, CPRA presented a demo of the upcoming data viewer, a data visualization tool displaying the results from the plan and providing resources to reduce risk. Information includes future land change, storm surge flood risk, coastal vegetation, and social vulnerability. Also included are the state’s proposed restoration, structural protection, and nonstructural risk reduction projects to help make communities safer.
Following presentations were table discussions. Each table engaged in robust conversation between residents and a member of the CPRA team, creating the unique opportunity for CPRA and citizens to dive deep on questions about the plan such as impacts of projects in communities, details on the project selection process, and how projects are implemented and maintained in the future.
Several webinars are available to view online including a Master Plan 101, which gives a general overview like those given at the community meetings. Other webinars topics include modeling updates as well as the planning tool. These webinars are available to view on the CPRA website.
Upon official release of the Draft 2023 Coastal Master Plan in January, the interactive data viewer will be available on the CPRA website. There will also be public hearings held in select cities as well as a public comment period. This will be your chance to submit official comments on the draft plan before a final version of the plan is submitted to the CPRA Board for approval. Once approved by the board, the Coastal Master Plan will be sent to the Louisiana Legislature for final adoption.
LWF will keep you updated via email when those meetings are announced. If you don’t already get our e-news updates, be sure to sign up so you can stay updated on the progress of the 2023 Coastal Master Plan.