On Tuesday, July 21, North Lafourche Levee District executive director, Dwayne Bourgeois, unveiled the Coastal Protection and Recreation Authority’s (CPRA) plan to improve Louisiana’s fragile coastline.
Studies project that over the next fifty years over 1,750 square miles of land are at risk of being lost which puts our homes, businesses and communities at risk. Therefore, every five years the law requires a new plan to be updated.
This allows the state to respond to changes on the ground and public input as well as innovations in science, engineering and policy. It also advances a comprehensive and integrated approach to protecting and restoring the communities of coastal Louisiana.
Since 2007, the Louisiana Coastal Program has spent $18 billion for protection and restoration projects in twenty different parishes. It has also dredged 95 million cubic yards of sediment. The program has benefited more than 26,000 acres of land, constructed forty-five miles of barrier islands and berms, and improved 256 miles of levees.
The 2012 plan, which is still been executed, was to reduce economic losses from storm-based flooding, promote a sustainable ecosystem by harnessing the processes of the natural system, provide habitats suitable to support an array of commercial and recreational activities coast wide, sustain Louisiana’s unique heritage and culture, and support regionally and nationally important businesses and industries.
The 2017 plan will focus on flood risk reduction and resilience, incorporate new ideas and information, emphasize communities, and implement improved science and technical analysis.
The plan will contain lots of input from the people most affected by the changes. Focus groups will consist of the community, fisheries, and landowners.
“The CPRA has put together a wide variety of people from all over the country to come in on this project on purpose to try to allow different, new thoughts and ideas.” said Bourgeois. “Projects have to be on this Master Plan to get funding.”
If all goes according to schedule, the plan will be submitted to the legislature in April 2017.
Posted on Fri, July 24, 2015
by Heather Chiasson, Contributing Writer