Our coastal crisis has led to the loss of over 1800 square miles of land since the 1930s. Given the importance of so many of south Louisiana’s natural assets—our waterways, resources, and wetlands—this rate of land loss is nothing short of a national emergency. But land loss and flooding hit us here at home first. And the state is committed to doing everything it can to restore and protect the Louisiana coast and its vital communities. Our goal: make a thorough assessment of what we need and identify the best way to get there.
There have been many plans for our coast, but none have had the action oriented mission of the 2012 Coastal Master Plan. The plan presents a list of specific protection and restoration projects, as well as recommended investments we should make in future decades. The path forward we outline in the 2012 Coastal Master Plan will set the template for state and federal action in coming years.
What’s New in the 2012 Master Plan:
- Detailed assessment of the future if we take no new action
- Expanded portfolio of solutions available to coastal residents through nonstructural protection measures
- Evaluation of hundreds of candidate projects ideas
- Use of innovative tools to identify the best projects and the most effective use of dollars
- Large scale solutions that address the root causes of land loss and reduce flooding risk for coastal communities
- Additional guiding objective that reflects the importance of Louisiana’s working coast
In taking this leadership role, we confronted some real world limitations. There isn’t enough money to build all of the projects we want, and there are limits to the fresh water and sediment we can use to rebuild the landscape. The 2012 Coastal Master Plan was developed using extensive scientific analysis. The master plan also reflects what we have learned in conservations with coastal residents and local leaders. The plan thus reflects in depth technical inquiry informed by an ongoing conservation with the citizens of Louisiana.