BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Gov. Edwards celebrates the passage of the Coastal Master Plan on Friday morning.
Edwards said the master plan is built on science and there isn’t a plan like it in any other state in the U.S.
“We are resource constrained, and so we want to make sure that we’re doing the projects that make the most sense and gain the most ground as soon as possible because we are in a race against time,” said Edwards.
The 50-year $50 billion master plan aims to further restore and protect the state’s coast.
“Over the course of the two terms that I have been governor, we’ve restored and maintained 83 miles of levees, 26,118 acres of coastal land and 22 miles of barrier island,” said Edwards.
The governor’s office provided these highlights about the 2023 Coastal Master Plan:
- Calls for 77 projects that can preserve, protect, and restore the vibrancy and the characteristics of the coast we call home and depend on.
- The projects identified in the 2023 Coastal Master Plan will restore and maintain over 300 square miles of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands and reduce expected annual damage by up to $15 billion compared to a future without action.
- Dedicates $25 billion to 65 restoration projects, including marsh creation, diversions, landbridges, ridge restorations, and hydrologic restoration projects.
- Identifies 12 structural risk reduction projects, including new levees and improving existing structures to withstand greater storm surges, to reduce flood damage by an estimated $7.7 billion.
- Allocates $11.2 billion to nonstructural risk reduction activities, such as residential elevations, commercial floodproofing, and voluntary acquisition of properties.
- $2.5 billion is allocated to programmatic restoration efforts and small-scale strategies, such as bank stabilization and barrier island maintenance.
During the news conference, Chip Kline, chairman of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, called the passage of the plan “a monumental day.”
“In 50 years, Louisiana will have less flood risk than we do today if we implement every single project in the master plan,” said Kline.