Final draft of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan approved by CPRA

This story was originally posted on the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana's Coast Currents blog.

By Scott Madere, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

Click for a map of all projects in the final draft of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan.

With a unanimous vote of its members, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA) approved the final draft of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan at its March 21, 2012 meeting held at the Louisiana State Archives.

The completed draft represents a milestone for Louisiana: a comprehensive science-based plan for coastal restoration and protection, built to last 50 years. The Coastal Master Plan represents thousands of hours of work from scores of contributors and CPRA staff members. As CPRA Director Garret Graves said, it is a document unlike any that has come before, detailed in its approach to Louisiana’s coastal crisis while considering possible limitations in funding and resources. “This plan for the first time ever puts us on a realistic trajectory for generations to come. It’s an achievable goal. It’s a fundamental shift in how we approach coastal planning for Louisiana,” said Graves.

The next step for the 2012 Coastal Master Plan is approval by the Louisiana Legislature, which will receive the document before March 26.

The final draft takes into consideration feedback entered after the introduction of the first draft, released to the public on January 12, 2012. The public comment period ended earlier this year on February 25.

“The comment period was very constructive,” said Graves. “We had over 2,000 comments received. Hundreds of people attended the public meetings that were held. Every single comment was read. Every single comment was considered, and every single comment was responded to.”

In addition to the general public, CPRA also sought the input of a 33-person framework development team, made up of governmental representatives, business and industry representatives, researchers and non-governmental organizations (including CRCL). Focus groups from the oil and gas, navigation and fisheries industries also played a key role in advising CPRA on the Master Plan.

“One of the things we want to do with these focus groups and the framework development team is understand a way to continue them,” said CPRA Chief of Planning, Kirk Rhinehart. “We got so much good dialogue. We learned so much from engaging with them that we want to make sure we continue that process.”

After considering and implementing public feedback, the final draft of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan differs somewhat from the original version released January 12. Here are many of the important differences between the two versions, broken down by coastal zone:

Click for a map of all projects on the Southwest Coast in the final draft of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan.

Southwest Coast

Click for a map of all projects on the Central Coast in the final draft of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan.

Central Coast

Click for a map of all projects on the Southeast Coast in the final draft of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan

Southeast Coast

For All of the Louisiana Coast

The next step for the 2012 Coastal Master Plan is approval by the Louisiana Legislature, where it will most likely be entered on or before March 26 as a Senate concurrent resolution. For a very detailed explanation of the approval process for the 2012 Coastal Master Plan, visit CRCL’s Coast Currents blog for Part Four of our Coastal Master Plan 101 series, “The Legislative Gauntlet.”

To view the final draft of the Coastal Master Plan, click here.