To ensure we build on past success and take advantage of new science and innovation, the Louisiana Legislature requires the Coastal Master Plan to be updated every five years. It is a living document that changes as our understanding of the landscape improves and technical advances are made.
Prior to 2007, the work of restoring the coastal ecosystem and providing flood protection for our citizens was spread out among different state agencies. The 2007 Master Plan combined these two functions into the CPRA, creating a more focused and effective approach to battling our coastal crisis.
Upon tasking the CPRA with the development of a coastal master plan, the Legislature further directed that the plan include large scale projects and take the needs of the entire coast into account. Most importantly, the plan had to prepare the way for action.
The 2007 Coastal Master Plan was the first such plan, and it helped support the many protection and restoration projects that have since been implemented. The 2007 plan established the foundation for our work, particularly its emphasis on improving protection from storm flooding and creating a sustainable ecosystem.
The 2012 Coastal Master Plan holds true to the overall objectives and approach of the 2007 plan. However, whereas the 2007 plan had a more general focus on strategies and possible project options, the 2012 plan identified a specific group of project concepts in which the state should invest.
The 2012 Coastal Master Plan is based on a two year analysis by some of the state’s most respected scientists as well as national and international specialists. The state used this analysis to select 109 high performing projects that could deliver measurable benefits to our communities and coastal ecosystem over the coming decades.
The plan shows that if these projects are fully funded, at a cost of $50 billion, we could substantially increase flood protection for communities and create a sustainable coast.
Each update to the Coastal Master Plan builds on the past and establishes a clear vision for the future, but it is not the last word. We continually work to improve our methods to ensure projects are completed as efficiently and effectively as possible. Louisiana citizens will see this progress reflected in upcoming annual plans and in the 2017 Coastal Master Plan update.
We look forward to working with communities, local leaders, and our state and federal partners to implement this plan, and we encourage citizens to stay in touch with us as we work toward a sustainable coast. Although the work will be challenging, the rewards will be great.
Most importantly, our children and grandchildren will thank us for saving this special place we are fortunate enough to call home.