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. The plan 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 took another step forward to protecting and restoring coastal Louisiana by identifying specific projects in which the state should invest. Based on robust scientific analysis, the 2012 plan selected 109 high performing projects that could deliver measurable benefits to our communities and coastal ecosystem over the coming decades. The plan showed that if these projects were fully funded, at a cost of $50 billion, we could substantially increase flood protection for communities to create a more sustainable coast.
The 2017 Coastal Master Plan builds on past efforts to recommend diverse projects to build land and reduce flood risk in order to balance short-term needs with long-term goals. The reality is that this plan will not solve all the challenges facing coastal Louisiana. The master plan is keenly focused on identifying and prioritizing high-performing projects that could be implemented over the next 10 years, while also planning for the next 50.
In addition, the recommended investments will not only provide direct restoration and risk reduction benefits, but will also provide tremendous economic development opportunities for Louisiana and its residents. The unprecedented investment in coastal restoration and protection will continue to put Louisiana at the forefront of using science and innovation to plan a sustainable future for our coastal communities and our valuable ecosystem. We are proactively preparing for a bright future in an ever-changing landscape.
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 future updates of the master plan.
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.