January 6, 2023
BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana’s 2023 DRAFT Coastal Master Plan is now available online for public review and comment.
The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) is tasked with updating the master plan every six years. Now the fourth edition of the plan, the 2023 DRAFT Coastal Master Plan presents a vision for preserving the state’s history, culture, ecosystems and natural resources that are threatened by ongoing land loss and flood risk. Louisiana’s coastal master plan has driven $21.4 billion of investment in coastal protection and restoration projects since 2007, benefitting 55,807 acres of habitat (87.2 square miles), 369 miles of levee improvements, and 71.6 miles of barrier islands and headlands.
Once approved by the Louisiana Legislature, this plan becomes the guiding document for the state’s coastal activities and provides a clear path forward for billions of dollars of investment in the design, implementation, and operation of large-scale restoration and risk reduction solutions.
“Addressing Louisiana’s land loss crisis and protecting coastal communities requires the comprehensive and integrated approach that projects identified in the master plan offer,” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline. “No other state in the country has a plan like ours utilizing the best available science and engineering to preserve our coast and culture for generations to come.”
Since 1932, more than 2,000 square miles of Louisiana’s coast have been lost, damaging the state’s coastal ecosystems and exposing communities to greater levels of flooding. Many of the factors contributing to this loss are predicted to worsen over the next 50 years. Projects within the 2023 DRAFT Coastal Master Plan will restore and maintain hundreds of square miles of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands and reduce expected annual damage by up to $15 billion compared to a future without action. The investments identified in the plan could reduce the state’s hurricane and tropical storm flood risk in 50 years to below what it experiences today.
Every master plan builds on the capabilities and advancements of previous editions to prioritize projects for implementation. The 2023 DRAFT Coastal Master Plan aims to collaborate with federal, state, and local governments, academia, and non-governmental organization partners; and effectively engage coastal citizens and stakeholders.
WHAT’S NEW IN 2023
CPRA held two public solicitation periods for new project ideas and worked with Regional Workgroups to refine project concepts and identify areas of need that were not represented among the initial proposals. CPRA evaluated these projects to understand their impacts over time and prioritized the suite of projects that would be most effective at restoring and maintaining coastal wetlands and reducing future damage from tropical storms and hurricanes. From over 180 submitted project concepts, 61 restoration and 12 structural risk reduction projects were selected for inclusion in the 2023 DRAFT Coastal Master Plan. Additionally, the plan recommends $11.2B in nonstructural risk reduction investments.
CPRA will host four formal public hearings to provide coastal Louisiana residents and stakeholders an opportunity to review and comment on the 2023 DRAFT Coastal Master Plan, the Fiscal Year 2024 Annual Plan, and the 2024 Atchafalaya Basin Program Annual Plan.
The schedule for public hearings is as follows:
January 31, 2023
East Baton Rouge Parish Library
9200 Bluebonnet Boulevard
February 2, 2023
Houma Municipal Auditorium
880 Verret Street
February 7, 2023
University of New Orleans
University Center Auditorium
2000 Lakeshore Drive
February 16, 2023
Burton Coliseum Complex
7001 Gulf Highway
All four public hearings will include an open house beginning at 3:30 p.m., followed by a presentation and public comment session from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Participants may share their comments verbally or in writing. All comments heard during the public hearings will be recorded by a court reporter. If, due to a disability, you require special assistance to participate, please contact the CPRA Administrative Assistant, at P.O. Box 44027, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-4027 or by telephone at (225) 342-7308, at least five working days prior to the hearing.
Interpretation and translation services can also be provided upon request by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public comments may be submitted for the plan now through March 25, 2023 via email, regular mail, or in person at one of four upcoming public hearings.