A recent poll conducted by BDPC, LLC + Pinsonat shows that a great majority of voters statewide not only support coastal restoration and protection efforts but also believe that elected officials must address the state’s coastal land loss issues while in office – including maintaining current funding and finding continued funding to sustain efforts to continue for generations to come.
“These numbers are unlike any I have ever seen in Louisiana. Coastal land loss is the most important issue on the minds of Louisiana voters. The issue has significant, bipartisan support from all corners of the state. These results are a clear signal that voters want their elected officials, from the Governor to their legislators to parish presidents, to tackle this crisis head on.” – Bernie Pinsonat, BDPC LLC + Pinsonat
Some key stats from the poll show that:
While just over half (55%) of respondents stated that they are familiar with sediment diversions, those that are familiar with them are largely in support (82%). Sediment diversions are large-scale coastal restoration projects that reconnect the Mississippi River to degrading wetlands, allowing river water, sediment and nutrients in to sustain and rebuild land.
Respondents believe that officials need to base their decisions on the best available science and use a balanced approach of both restoring wetlands, ecosystems and habitats AND reducing risk to communities using levees, floodwalls and other protective structures.
Seventy-one percent of respondents said they “believe in climate change.” Of that group, 50% said they believe that climate change is having a direct impact on their life today while 72% of those who said they believe in climate change said they think it “will have a direct impact on future generations in Louisiana.”
With elections coming up, candidates would be wise to listen to voters and make coastal protection and restoration a priority issue in their campaigns – and especially when in office. Tackling Louisiana’s land loss crisis will require all hands on deck from all levels of government (local, state and federal), especially in the search for sustainable funding after the BP oil spill payments stop.
Voters have spoken and their message is clear: prioritize coastal restoration and protection in Louisiana.
The full poll results can be found here.