Louisiana’s fall elections will be particularly crucial for the future leadership of the state, deciding numerous seats in the Legislature, the governorship, as well as other statewide and parish offices.
In the Legislature, as a result of term limits 47 of 144 seat are open, including 16 in the Senate. This legislative turnover coincides with a critical moment for our coast, particularly as most of the existing funding dedicated to implement the state’s Coastal Master Plan will be completely spent down in the next 12 years. Legislators elected this year will have a central role in finding the revenue to continue to invest in our coast, and will pass judgement every year on annual coastal spending plans and the next Coastal Master Plan in 2023.
As you likely know, a recent statewide poll showed that Louisiana voters are deeply concerned about the state’s coastal land loss crisis and support coastal restoration efforts to address it. The poll shows that 97 percent want their elected officials to prioritize tackling coastal land loss when in office.
Ahead of the elections, we asked candidates running for Louisiana’s Legislature to complete a short survey providing their positions on issues relevant to coastal land loss and restoration. Respondents were united in positive responses to key questions asked of them, including the following:
- Even if we cannot restore the coast to its previous footprint, do you think Louisiana should still work to maintain as much land as possible?
- The growing water management sector—which includes coastal restoration, coastal protection and urban water management—is the #1 driver of jobs in southeast Louisiana and #2 across the entire coastal zone. Currently, there are thousands of jobs in Louisiana dedicated to restoring and protecting our coast. Do you support efforts to grow this coastal industry an export our coastal expertise to other states and nations?