Leading Businesses Call on Louisiana Legislature to Pass the Coastal Master Plan
Following today’s approval by the CPRA Board, plan now moves to state legislature for passage
(Baton Rouge, LA—April 19, 2017) Today, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) Board unanimously approved the 2017 Coastal Master Plan, the state’s blueprint for coastal restoration and protection efforts. The plan, which is updated every five years with the best-available science, now moves to the state legislature for passage.
More than 40 Louisiana businesses, associations and chambers of commerce expressed their support for the Coastal Master Plan by adding their names to a full-page ad that will run tomorrow (April 20) in The Advocate and its affiliated papers. The ad underscores the message that Louisiana needs the master plan by showcasing the human and economic risks of continued coastal land loss as well as the job creation benefits of restoring the coast to protect people, wildlife and industries.
“Louisiana needs the 2017 Coastal Master Plan,” said Steve Cochran, campaign director for Restore the Mississippi River Delta, the organization that paid for the ad. “Our citizens are in widespread agreement that a future without the master plan – one that would put our entire way of life at risk – is not acceptable.”
A recent statewide poll showed that an overwhelming 97 percent of voters say Louisiana’s coastal areas and wetlands are important to them, and 88 percent of Louisiana voters want their legislator to vote for the Coastal Master Plan.
Tomorrow also marks the 7-year anniversary of the Gulf oil disaster, from which Louisiana is still recovering. As a result of the oil spill settlement, Louisiana has funding to make significant progress by implementing key master plan projects over the coming 15 years. The same poll also showed that 91 percent of Louisiana voters want funds dedicated to coastal restoration to not be spent on anything else.
“As the legislature considers the master plan, voters could not be more clear on their directive: Pass the master plan, protect coastal funding and continue to get crucial restoration projects implemented as quickly as possible. Doing otherwise puts us all at immense risk,” said John Lopez, member of the 2017 Coastal Master Plan Framework Development Team and director of the Coastal Sustainability Program for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, a coalition member of Restore the Mississippi River Delta.
The ad is paid for by Restore the Mississippi River Delta, a coalition of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society and the National Wildlife Federation. Full text of the ad below:
“Louisiana needs the 2017 Coastal Master Plan.
“Without action, Louisiana could lose 2,250 square miles of land over the next 50 years, putting our communities, economy, natural resources and wildlife – our entire way of life – at risk.
“Louisiana’s 2017 Coastal Master Plan is the blueprint for the state’s coastal restoration and protection efforts. If implemented, it will help Louisiana avoid this devastating land-loss scenario and reduce damages, which could exceed $150 billion over the next 50 years without the master plan.
“In addition, nearly 60,000 jobs will be supported by investments in coastal restoration and protection over the next 10 years.
“The Louisiana Legislature is currently considering the 2017 Coastal Master Plan. An overwhelming 88 percent of Louisiana voters statewide want their legislator to vote for the plan.
“We too support the Coastal Master Plan.”
Learn more at MississippiRiverDelta.org/MasterPlan.