WHEREAS, Louisiana’s coast has lost more than 1900 square miles of coastal wetlands and habitats over the last 80 years, threatening the sustainability of fisheries, waterfowl and other migratory bird habitats and coastal communities and industries, and
WHEREAS, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) released a draft of “Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast” (draft plan) on January 12, 2012, and
WHEREAS, the draft plan was released in 2012 as required by statute as the update of Louisiana’s first comprehensive coastal restoration and hurricane protection plan that was approved by the state legislature in 2007, and
WHEREAS, the draft plan outlines specific coastal restoration and hurricane protection techniques that conceivably can be employed and constructed over the next 50 years along Louisiana’s coast to curb the dire loss of Louisiana’s coastal wetland and barrier island habitats and provide both structural and non-structural protection to Louisiana’s coastal communities and infrastructure, and
WHEREAS, the draft plan, unlike previous plans both federal and state, contains specific project recommendations reasonably based on expected and available funding as well as realistic expectations about the sustainability of projects, both for hurricane protection and ecosystem restoration, and
WHEREAS, the projects and recommendations in the draft plan are based on science and modeling and were chosen outside of political pressure, and
WHEREAS, the draft plan recommends extensive use of the sediment and freshwater resources within the Mississippi River Basin, including the Mississippi River and Atchafalaya River, to create and sustain coastal wetland habitat, and utilizing those resources as prescribed in the plan could reverse Louisiana’s land loss and result in land gains over the next 50 years, and
WHEREAS, the CPRA worked extensively with a host of stakeholders and coastal scientists from across the state and the nation in order to try and preserve, to the best practicable extent, the industries and unique cultures of coastal Louisiana while working to reverse nearly a century of land loss, and
Resolution No. 7B, 2012 – DRAFT 2012 “LOUISIANA’S COMPREHENSIVE MASTER PLAN FOR A SUSTAINABLE COAST”, Page 2
WHEREAS, the CPRA has conducted extensive public meetings across coastal Louisiana to gather input and address concerns of those who live, work and utilize Louisiana’s coastal habitats, and
WHEREAS, the CPRA has acknowledged certain shortcomings in the plan and displayed a willingness to work with coastal stakeholders to address legitimate concerns.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation commends the CPRA for writing a bold and realistic draft coastal plan based on science, practicality and sustainability that aims to make coastal habitats, communities and industries sustainable for decades to come and for the willingness to work with coastal stakeholders to address any shortcomings in the draft plan.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation urges the members of the Louisiana Legislature to consider the needs of the state’s coastline as a whole when considering approval or disapproval of the plan and that the needs of specific individual districts not outweigh the needs of coastal communities and habitats across Louisiana’s coast.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Congress and federal agencies working with the CPRA to restore Louisiana’s coastal habitats and sustain coastal communities recognize the significance of the plan, provide support for and direct the necessary resources to help the CPRA implement projects in the plan.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, March 11, 2012 in Covington, Louisiana.