Louisiana Hosting Meetings on Annual Coastal Plan

 
Image credit: CPRA

Every year, the state of Louisiana releases a new Annual Coastal Plan the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan – the state’s 50 year, $50+ billion dollar plan to restore the coast and protect communities. The overall Master Plan is a big picture strategic document, which the state updates every 5 years. The Annual Coastal Plan gets into more of the nitty-gritty details of what money will be spent on what projects over the next 3 years and where that money will be coming from.

The state released the draft version of the annual plan in mid-December and will be taking public comments on the plan until February 12th. There are three public hearings about the plan next week (scroll down for the details). According to the draft plan, the state is projected to:

  • Spend $562 million on coastal restoration and protection in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.
  • Bring in $650 million in revenues for these efforts in FY 2019, from a variety of sources including state funding, offshore oil and gas revenues and BP disaster fines and penalties.
  • Raise annual spending on the Master Plan to $931 million by FY 2021.

It’s encouraging to see the state ramping up coastal restoration spending in the coming years. Louisiana’s land loss is an immediate and ongoing crisis for the communities and people of south Louisiana, and we must do everything we can to make sure that we prioritize projects that will protect our communities in the short term and long term.

As we invest in large-scale restoration projects that will take years or decades to come online and start protecting our communities, it’s also important that we make more immediate investments in reducing flood risk in our communities through methods like home elevation and flood proofing. From Gulf Restoration Network’s initial review of the annual plan, we have questions about whether the state is putting enough priority on these types of projects over the next 3 years.

We’ll be bringing these and other questions to some of the upcoming public meetings that the state is hosting and hope to see you there! Here are the details:

Mon, January 8th - Belle Chasse
Open House begins at 5:30. Presentations and public comment begin at 6:30.
Belle Chasse Auditorium
8398 LA Highway 23
Belle Chasse, LA 70037

Tues, Jan 9th – Houma
Open House begins at 5:30. Presentations and public comment begin at 6:30.
Houma Terrebonne Civic Center, Meeting Room 3
346 Civic Center Blvd.
Houma, LA 70360

Wed, Jan 10th - Lake Charles
Open House begins at 5:30. Presentations and public comment begin at 6:30.
Lake Charles Civic Center, Jean Lafitte Room
900 Lakeshore Drive
Lake Charles, LA 70601

Even if you can’t make the public hearings, you can still submit comments by emailing Coastal@LA.gov. Plus, GRN will be sending an email action alert about the plan to our e-supporters after the hearings – click here to sign up for our email list to stay up-to-date. 

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