New Sea Level Rise Report Provides “Urgent Call for Action to Protect Louisiana’s Coast and Communities”

02.15.2022 | In Press Releases

Media Statement of Restore the Mississippi River Delta Leaders

(New Orleans, LA.- February 15, 2022) Today, NOAA’s National Ocean Service and interagency partners released an updated Sea Level Rise Technical Report that delivers sea level rise projections by decade for the next 100 years and beyond. The report indicates that seas will rise by up to a foot nationally by 2050, and potentially by up to two feet by 2100 depending on rates of emissions. In response, Restore the Mississippi River Delta leaders issued the following statement:

“This latest report on sea level rise provides an urgent call for action to protect Louisiana’s coast and communities,” said Simone Maloz, campaign director for Restore the Mississippi River Delta. “Louisiana’s land loss crisis coupled with more intense hurricanes and sea level rise puts our state and its people in a precarious position. These threats require us to work with all speed and power to protect our communities before the worst effects take hold.”

“Louisiana is aggressively implementing its Coastal Master Plan, which provides protections against sea level rise,” said Kristi Trail, executive director of Pontchartrain Conservancy. “Adopted 15 years ago, the Master Plan’s bold restoration projects provide multiple lines of defense for our communities. The State recently released their largest Coastal Annual Plan ever, outlining nearly $1.3 billion of spending over a one-year period for protection and restoration projects across Louisiana’s coast. Given the threats facing our coast, investing in and completing these projects is critical.” 

“Louisiana must put one of its greatest assets — the Mississippi River — to work to build and maintain wetlands into the future in the face of sea level rise,” said Kimberly Reyher, executive director at the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. “Our state is on the cusp of implementing some of the largest ecosystem restoration projects ever to reconnect the Mississippi River to coastal wetlands to reduce land loss and maintain vital wetlands. Coastal Master Plan projects such as the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion are vital to creating a sustainable, productive coast into the future for our people, wildlife and economy.”   

“Louisiana’s future depends on limiting rates of sea level rise to the greatest extent possible. This requires Louisiana to do its part to reduce emissions as well,” said Cathleen Berthelot, senior policy manager of climate resilient coasts and watersheds at Environmental Defense Fund. “Louisiana recently reached a major milestone with the approval of its first Climate Action Plan, but urgent action is needed to move the plan forward.” 

“The latest climate change data shows urgent need for increasing resilience of the coast to protect Louisiana’s coastal communities and environment before it is too late,” said Amanda Moore, director of the Gulf Program at the National Wildlife Federation. “This urgent call for action includes investing in at-risk coastal communities and doing our part to limit sea level rise by reducing emissions.”

“We have no time left to lose in coastal Louisiana; we must act now to protect our coastal communities and environment before it is too late,” said Brian Moore, vice president for Gulf policy at the National Audubon Society. “A just, climate-resilient coast is possible, but we must act boldly and urgently to achieve it.”

Media Contact:

Restore the Mississippi River Delta

Restore the Mississippi River Delta is working to secure a just, climate-resilient coast where people and nature thrive. As our region faces the crisis of land loss and climate change, we seek to advance an equitable, safer and flourishing coast for Louisiana’s communities, ecosystems and economy. Composed of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Pontchartrain Conservancy, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.