An Open Letter to the People of Louisiana

Hurricane season is upon us, and the stakes are incredibly high for our communities, economy and world-class Sportsman’s Paradise. Louisiana’s coastal program – which was born of the hard lessons we learned together after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita – has resulted in a stronger and more resilient coast.

We are concerned by recent shifts in the state’s coastal program, particularly the dramatic changes in the direction and composition of the CPRA Board and lack of adherence to our science-driven Coastal Master Plan. Right now, we face the threat of diminishing the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority by consolidating it under a much larger agency. Additionally, CPRA leadership is publicly promoting projects that have not been vetted through the Coastal Master Plan process and are technically weak.

To continue the progress made on the monumental task of restoring and protecting coastal Louisiana, we recommend:

Read the full letter.

The Landry administration was fortunate to inherit a bipartisan legacy of investment in our coast that has helped our people face our land loss crisis with as much confidence as possible. Since its inception, our state’s Coastal Master Plan, now in its fourth iteration, has won unanimous legislative approval. Because of our robust, science-based Coastal Master Plan process, Louisiana has also gained the confidence of the federal government, state partners and industry leaders, which has led to the investment of $21.6 billion in mostly non-state dollars in restoration and protection project implementation and infrastructure.

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Our coastal program works. Since 2005, it has fortified levees and coastal ecosystems benefiting over 67,000 acres, improved 383 miles of levee and restored 71.6 miles of barrier islands. And the momentum is only improving. In the next year alone, if we hold the course, Louisiana is on track to create or nourish another 20 square miles of coastal wetlands and create tens of thousands more jobs. Furthermore, polling illustrates that Louisianians overwhelmingly support preserving and investing in the program, showing 92% of Louisiana voters support science-based restoration plans and 80% approve of sediment diversions, cornerstone strategies in that plan.

The tangible gains achieved by Louisiana’s coastal program hold together the fabric of our communities, give business leaders the confidence to invest in and plan for the future, protect increasingly vulnerable infrastructure and strengthen our beloved Sportsman’s Paradise. As we face another hurricane season, we can’t lose our momentum. The very future of our state is at stake.

Read the full letter.