Draft 2017 “Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast”

WHEREAS, Louisiana’s coast serves as an important natural, economic, and cultural resource for both the State of Louisiana and the United States with a diverse array of waterfowl, migratory birds, reptiles, and amphibians; and

WHEREAS, nearly half of the population of the entire state (over 2,000,0000 people) resides along the coast; and

WHEREAS, Louisiana’s coast has lost nearly 2,000 square miles of land over the past 85 years and continues to lose land at an alarming rate due to both natural and human impacts, threatening the sustainability of vital fish and wildlife habitat, coastal communities, and industries; and

WHEREAS, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) is charged to “develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive coastal protection and restoration Master Plan”; and

WHEREAS, the CPRA is required, by law, to update the Master Plan every five years and has released a draft of Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast (draft plan) on January 3, 2017; and

WHEREAS, the updated draft plan builds upon the efforts of the 2012 plan using the best available science and engineering to outline specific projects to protect and restore Louisiana’s coastal wetland and barrier island habitats and provide structural and non-structural protection to coastal communities and infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, the draft plan includes new ideas and information gathered from stakeholders along the coast as a result of two public calls (in 2014) for project proposals which were analyzed and considered for inclusion in the draft plan; and

WHEREAS, the draft plan also includes increased focus on flood risk and resilience with a more robust development of the non-structural risk reduction and protection program to protect communities and infrastructure along the coast as well as tools such as the interactive Master Plan Data Viewer, with which residents can view potential land loss and flood risk to their community or property over time; and

WHEREAS, the draft plan includes an increased focus on communities with Appendix B, People and the Landscape, which aims to increase residents’ understanding of sea level rise, land loss, insurance issues, population shifts, and new economic opportunities; and

WHEREAS, the draft plan improves outreach and engagement efforts which was evidenced in the Community Conversations and Coastal Connections meetings in which residents were able to actively engage in discussions with CPRA staff and ask questions and provide feedback in a more informal setting than is offered at public hearings; and

WHEREAS, CPRA expanded partnerships and collaboration through a coastal stakeholder advisory group, focus groups (which included residents, landowners, and representatives from commercial activities, including fisheries, navigation, energy, and industry), and coordination with floodplain managers, hazard mitigation specialists, other state agencies, and NGOs; and

WHEREAS, the draft plan lays out a clearer outline for project funding with the settlement from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation commends CPRA for its continued work on bold, science-based solutions to our coastal crisis and for making the aforementioned improvements and continuing to engage with 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 by approving the 2017 Master Plan.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in addition to the 2017 Master Plan, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation also supports approval of the FY 2018 Annual Plan prepared by CPRA.

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 Board of Directors at their meeting on February 11, 2017 in Woodworth, Louisiana.

Submitted By: Louisiana Wildlife Federation
LWF Committee: Habitat Conservation and Management
Resolution #:1B, 2017
Date Proposed:02/11/2017
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