Your Coast, Your Future–How Will You Be Impacted?

Tomorrow evening, a very important meeting will be held in Chalmette, Louisiana concerning the 2012 Louisiana State Master Plan (the Plan). The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority has announced a series of regional community meetings, beginning in Chalmette, to share information about the Plan. Over the next few months, they will be developing a draft to submit to the 2012 State Legislature. Now is the time for the public to offer ideas and learn about the Plan. There are nine meetings being held in different locations throughout south Louisiana. However, none of the meetings is scheduled for New Orleans so GRN recommends that people in the New Orleans are attend one or more of the other meetings and to become as informed as possible. While some may consider New Orleans not to be a coastal community, we all know that so goes the coast, so goes the future of the Crescent City.July 28th — 5:00 p.m. (Open House), 5:30 p.m. Meeting Louisiana’s 2012 Coastal Master Plan Regional Community MeetingSt. Bernard Parish Council Chambers8201 W Judge Perez Dr.Chalmette, LAThe 2012 Master Plan will be an expansion of the 2007 Master Plan and will present a new approach for considering the future of coastal Louisiana. According to the Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration, the 2012 Plan will provide answers to two critical questions: how bad is the coastal crisis going to get, and what is Louisiana going to do about it? The Plan will describe Louisiana’s erosion problem and how flooding will affect people, businesses, and the coastal environment. The hope is to inform communities and their leaders so they will know what to expect and can better prepare for the future. The Plan will propose projects that will mitigate against flooding risks using a range of methods, from levees to elevation of homes. The Plan will propose projects that are designed to restore the coast and to help support communities, industries, and commercial operations. The projects under consideration generally fall into one of these categories:Freshwater DiversionOutfall ManagementSediment DiversionsDredged Material/Marsh CreationShoreline ProtectionSediment and Nutrient TrappingHydrologic RestorationMarsh ManagementBarrier Island RestorationVegetation PlantingBut, where are these projects going to be located? Which areas of marsh will be selected for plantings? Which communities will be impacted by fresh water or sediment diversions? What flood control projects will or will not be funded? Which communities will get levee protection? Which ones will be left to defend themselves from rising sea levels and more powerful storms? The State admittedly cannot entirely fix the coast and the Plan will present the legislature with a suite of investment options that are the most cost effective and sound investments from the State’s perspective. Clearly, there will be winners and losers which makes these meetings that much more important for residents of coastal Louisiana. Knowledge is power and those who are aware of what is being planned for the future of their communities will be better poised to adapt where necessary. So, for a complete listing of the upcoming meetings and more information about the 2012 Master Plan, please visit here.Jonathan Henderson is the Coastal Resiliency Organizer For GRN.

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