Mississippi River Delta Organizations Support CPRA Master Plan

Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) has just released its draft 2017 Coastal Master Plan and draft FY 2018 Annual Plan for public review and comment.

The plan, if approved, will serve as the blueprint for the state’s coastal restoration and protection activities over the next 50 years.

In response to the release, Restore the Mississippi River Delta – a coalition of local and national organizations that have worked on coastal restoration in Louisiana for decades, including the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, the National Wildlife Federation and National Audubon Society – released the following statement:

This master plan process advances a strategy grounded in the best available science that balances coastal restoration and protection activities – and is realistic about the coastal challenges we face.

Louisiana has a powerful resource at its disposal – the Mississippi River – and we are encouraged to see sediment diversions remain a cornerstone of the master plan. Sediment diversions are crucial to both building and maintaining land, as well as protecting investments made in levees and other protection projects.

Since the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, our state has made significant progress in rebuilding barrier islands, creating hundreds of acres of marsh and strengthening levees. We need to do more – and quickly – to protect these investments, the billions of dollars in infrastructure and millions of people who live and work along our coast.”

CPRA is legally required to update its master plan every five years to account for the best available science. This update builds on prior Coastal Master Plans released in 2012 and 2007.

In the draft plan, CPRA provided a prioritized list of $50 billion in coastal restoration and risk-reduction activities needed to address the state’s increasingly severe land loss and sea level rise.

The deadline for submitting public comment on the CPRA Master Plan and Annual Plan is March 26, 2017.