BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Every six years, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (LCPRA) must create a comprehensive plan that details a 50-year outlook for the state’s coast.
The Coastal Master Plan contains key information about how much coastal land the state is likely to lose and what Louisiana faces in terms of flood risk over the following five decades.
On Wednesday, the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment approved LCPRA’s most recent plan.
The new plan anticipates that protecting the state’s coast will cost about $50 billion.
It also recommends implementing a suite of 77 restoration and risk reduction projects. Once they’ve been carried out, experts believe the work will bring multiple benefits to Louisiana’s coastal communities and ecosystems. One of the major benefits is a reduction of hundreds of square miles of land loss and damage from storm surges.
The Master Plan indicates that when its suggested strategies are implemented and a lower environmental scenario is in place, the projects will create and maintain approximately 314 square miles of land throughout a span of five decades.
According to LCPRA’s master plan, allocated funds would go to four basic areas of concern:
- $19 billion will be used for dredging projects
- $2.5 billion will go to programs like barrier island maintenance, shoreline protection and oyster reef restoration
- $14 billion will be spent on structural risk reduction projects
- $11.2 billion will fund nonstructural risk reduction projects
Many lawmakers feel the new plan correctly identifies projects that will protect and restore the state’s coast for the next 50 years.