Louisiana’s Coastal Program is at Risk: Proposed Changes to CPRA’s Structure

05.15.2024 | In Coastal Restoration

Restore the Mississippi River Delta is concerned about the state of Louisiana’s rapidly disappearing coast, and we know you are, too. We want to keep you informed of the most critical issues currently facing our coast. This post marks the first in a series expressing our concerns about recent shifts in our state’s successful and popular coastal program, including changes to the structure of our coastal program, the protection of coastal funding, and implementation of cornerstone projects in our science-based Coastal Master Plan.


Newly elected Governor Jeff Landry has directed state agencies to streamline and “create efficiencies.” One of the proposed changes is to consolidate the already efficient Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) under the Department of Energy and Natural Resources (DENR).

This move jeopardizes the future of the coastal program, which has a proven track record of success, is grounded in top-notch science and is overwhelmingly supported by Louisianians. 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, creating tens of thousands more jobs. But moving CPRA under DENR would dilute and diminish the importance of Louisiana’s coastal crisis by reducing the agency’s status as a standalone, independent entity prominently seated at the forefront of state government.

The mechanisms for the consolidation of CPRA began with the DRIVE initiative kicking off with the issuance of an Executive Order (JML 24-13) in February 2024. Since then, information has been circulated to coastal stakeholders, including those noted below, first establishing the platform for reorganizations, including a reduction of the CPRA board size, and secondly, the process under which the administration will contemplate how this reorganization will take place. 

As we draw near to the start of another hurricane season and our coast continues to lose a football field of land every 100 minutes, proposed changes in structure would be a misguided and ill-timed de-prioritization of an issue that still demands the state’s attention at the highest level. 

With a lean staff of roughly 180 members implementing over a billion dollars in restoration and protection projects annually, the CPRA leads the nation as a model for efficient, effective, science-backed, and publicly supported coastal restoration. The proposed changes to CPRA have many coastal advocates, scientists, sportsmen, business leaders and landowners wondering along with us: If it ain’t broke, why fix it? We believe the program works well for the people, businesses and wildlife that depend on stronger coastal wetlands.  

Yet, despite these tremendous successes (and the many comments against these moves recorded during the public comment periods), it has become clear that the reorganization of CPRA is moving forward.  We will continue to support CPRA by working with the DENR and new administration to attempt to ensure that the coastal organization retains its autonomy and authority and has the ability to speak and engage on behalf of the state in its efforts to restore our diminishing coastline.

As a valued coastal stakeholder, we wanted to inform you of these activities. The first meeting of the newly established Natural Resources Steering Committee will be held on June 18th in Baton Rouge. This is a public meeting open to all parties.  

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