Protect Our Coastal Master Plan Funding: Why It Matters
What is the issue?
Since passage of the RESTORE Act in 2012, Louisiana officials have made clear commitments to using our state’s share of funding for implementing the Coastal Master Plan. And while other Gulf states have proposed using oil spill funds for unrelated purposes, Louisiana’s funds have remained committed to coastal restoration and protection. Even before the oil disaster, Louisiana voters constitutionally dedicated future revenues from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Securities Act (GOMESA) to our Coastal Trust Fund.
We – government officials, citizens and stakeholders – have clearly demonstrated to neighboring states and the federal government that we are committed to our Coastal Master Plan. In explaining the gravity of our land-loss situation and why it merits national attention and federal funding, we have shown that we are serious about spending our oil spill dollars on restoring our coast. We must safeguard all coastal funding – state and federal – for coastal restoration and protection projects.
Why does it matter?
Our future depends on safeguarding coastal dollars for restoration, and we oppose any efforts that would take critical funds away from their intended purposes: actual restoration activities.
Despite Louisiana’s immediate budget crisis, our future depends on safeguarding coastal dollars for restoration, and we oppose any efforts that would take critical funds away from their intended purposes: actual coastal restoration activities.
After years of consistent focus on master plan funding, we need to demonstrate, now more than ever, an ironclad commitment to restoration and protection.
Our work on this issue:
Our Coalition recently sent a letter to President Obama, signed by 330 groups ranging from local governments and businesses and industry to environmental organizations and community groups, asking that he reconsider his 2017 proposed budget that would redirect GOMESA funds away from Gulf Coast restoration. Read the letter here.
We also sent a letter to Governor John Bel Edwards, signed by 29 Louisiana business associations, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and civic groups, urging him to protect funding for coastal restoration and to move forward with implementation of the state’s Coastal Master Plan. Read the letter here.
A recent report released by our Coalition found that water management, which includes coastal restoration, coastal protection and urban water management, now represents the largest economic driver in southeast Louisiana and the second largest across the entire coastal zone. This means that protecting funding for coastal restoration is a wise investment in our state’s future.
As our state works to address its budget challenges, it is important to remember that investing in coastal restoration will create jobs and grow the economy in addition to protecting existing businesses, communities and infrastructure. Investments made today will more than pay off in the long run as our region becomes an economic hub for coastal restoration and climate resiliency, while also helping to protect the people, industries and wildlife that call coastal Louisiana home.
Louisiana voters agree! A recent survey of Louisiana voters found:
85% believe restoration of coastal Louisiana should be a high priority for the new governor.
78% of Louisiana voters believe that protecting and restoring coastal Louisiana is as important as other issues facing the state.
Read recent media coverage to learn more about this proposal:
- The Lens: “Raft of bills seeks to remove protections for dedicated coastal-restoration money” (March 24, 2016)
- The Advocate: “Letters: Coastal restoration, protection a booming industry” (March 22, 2016)
- The Advocate: “Our Views: New warnings on coastal funds” (March 21, 2016)
- Houma Courier: “The coast must be a top state priority” (March 20, 2016)
- Daily Comet: “Washington is watching, but is Louisiana?” (March 19, 2016)
- The Advocate: “Seven bills up in current legislative session seek to move funds away from coast restoration work, official says” (March 16, 2016)
- The Advocate: “More Louisiana groups ask Obama to reconsider moving money from coast to other projects” (March 8, 2016)
- The Hill: “Greens push Obama on coastal funding plans in 2017 budget” (March 8, 2016)
- Houma Courier: “Coast advocates urge president to scrap proposal to redirect oil money”(March 8, 2016)