WHEREAS, the 2000 census documented that over 50 percent of Louisiana’s population live and work in the coastal zone, and
WHEREAS, Louisiana’s coastal zone and marshes support and protect extensive oil and gas production and infrastructure, five of the nation’s fifteen largest ports, a highly productive commercial fishing industry, as well as recreational fishing, hunting, wildlife-watching, fur harvest, and alligator harvest, and
WHEREAS, the historic and continued loss of Louisiana’s coastal barriers and wetlands represents a threat to the state’s economy and a clear and present danger to people and communities, and
WHEREAS, it is widely recognized that projects and activities in support of commerce, flood control and the development of natural resources for sustenance and economic gain have contributed substantially to and accelerated the natural processes of erosion and subsidence of coastal lands, and
WHEREAS, plans to restore Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, while critically needed, have a daunting price tag, and their implementation is dependent upon the support of the tax-paying American public and the vagaries of the federal funding process, and
WHEREAS, it is reasonable and realistic for federal appropriators to expect the state of Louisiana to demonstrate consistency between requests for federal funding to restore areas experiencing land loss, and the stewardship and protection of existing coastal barrier and wetland habitats, and
WHEREAS, the least expensive and most effective “coastal restoration” is achieved by preventing the destruction of coastal wetland habitats in the first place, and
WHEREAS, regardless of the past inattention to the application of this common-sense approach to the conservation of coastal barriers and wetlands, it is imperative it be embraced as Louisiana moves forward to save its coast from further loss and degradation, and
WHEREAS, Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal in his recent Executive Order No. BJ 2008 -7, “ACTIVITY AND PERMIT CONSISTENCY WITH LOUISIANA’S COMPREHENSIVE MASTER PLAN FOR A SUSTAINABLE COAST” recognized the importance of managing coastal activities such that they are not counter to the state’s imperative to protect, restore and conserve the coast, and therefore also recognizes the concept of prevention as a vital component of coastal protection, restoration and conservation.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) urges that coastal land loss “prevention” be fully integrated into the state’s coastal protection and restoration policies and plans, including in the exercise of its existing authority to guide and regulate coastal uses.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the LWF calls upon those industries and operators in the coastal zone who, by virtue of their activities, may contribute to the loss of coastal barriers and wetlands, to avoid damages to coastal barriers and wetlands where feasible and to fully mitigate damages so that such activities do not contribute to further loss and jeopardy of Louisiana’s coastal communities, and further, to pioneer innovative practices and techniques that prevent damage or destruction of existing coastal wetlands.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the LWF encourages Governor Jindal to fully execute the policy articulated in Executive Order No. BJ 2008 -7, “ACTIVITY AND PERMIT CONSISTENCY WITH LOUISIANA’S COMPREHENSIVE MASTER PLAN FOR A SUSTAINABLE COAST” to prevent further degradation and loss of Louisiana’s coastal barriers, cheniers and wetlands.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, March 16, 2008 in New Iberia, Louisiana.