Louisiana’s $50B coastal plan heads toward approval

Baton Rouge, Louisiana - State Capitol building

Louisiana’s most recent plan to restore and protect its coast—at a cost of $50 billion—advanced last week through the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment, reports Louisiana Illuminator.

The coastal master plan is updated by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority every six years, as required by state law. It lays out the 50-year future for Louisiana’s coast in terms of coastal land loss and flood risk–with and without its implementation.

Though the coastal plan rests on the latest science and engineering, it also emerges from a highly public process. The coastal authority received more than 200 public comments and held close to 100 public meetings in south Louisiana about the plan, CPRA Chair Chip Kline says.

The largest portion of the plan, $19 billion, goes to dredging projects. Another $2.5 billion will go to barrier island maintenance, reef restoration and shoreline protection. It also calls for $14 billion to go toward 12 structural risk reduction projects including levees, floodgates and storm surge barriers.

Another $11.2 billion goes to nonstructural risk reduction projects, like raising and flood-proofing homes and businesses. This money can also be used for “voluntary acquisition,” though Kline seemed to reject the idea that widespread migration from the coast will be necessary.

Read the full story from Louisiana Illuminator.