April 19, 2023
BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board (CPRA) voted unanimously to approve the 2023 Coastal Master Plan and the Fiscal Year 2024 Annual Plan.
The Coastal Master Plan is a living document that is required by statute to be updated every six years. The plan incorporates the best available scientific and engineering data and community input to prioritize projects for implementation to further CPRA’s mission to protect and restore Louisiana’s coast.
The 2023 Coastal Master Plan is the fourth iteration and builds on the capabilities and advancements of previous plans. From the robust project selection process to improvements to predictive models and the development of new risk metrics, the 2023 version is the most comprehensive plan to date.
“The 2023 Coastal Master Plan is the most expansive this agency has produced, giving us an unprecedented opportunity to improve the lives of south Louisianans who are looking to the state for answers to some of the most dire issues facing Louisiana,” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline. “Implementing the projects in the plan over a 50-year period could reduce risk from tropical storms and hurricanes to coastal communities to less than what the current risk level is today. A better protected and more resilient Louisiana should give the people of this state hope for decades to come.”
Beginning in 2018, CPRA involved coastal communities during the development and drafting process of the 2023 Coastal Master Plan. CPRA’s Coastal Master Plan team engaged a diverse group of stakeholders to form the Coastal Advisory Team (CAT) and created Regional Workgroups (RW) across five coastal regions. The CAT and RWs worked with CPRA to identify issues, priorities, and possible solutions.
In addition to CAT and RW input, CPRA and its partners hosted 10 community conversations throughout coastal Louisiana where residents and community leaders had the opportunity to engage with the Master Plan Team and each other ahead of the release of the 2023 Draft Coastal Master Plan.
The Annual Plan, which is required by the Louisiana Legislature to be updated each year, details projected revenues and expenditures and forecasts projects that will be undertaken by the state and its partners for the upcoming three years. The Annual Plan gives an overview of the progress that Louisiana’s coastal program has made toward implementing previous Coastal Master Plans.
The FY24 Annual Plan projects revenues of $1.62 billion, which will be used to fund 147 projects and create nearly 9,000 jobs in the coastal sector. The plan outlines 21 dredging projects, which will utilize 77.3 million cubic yards of sediment to nourish over 14,500 acres of land across coastal Louisiana in the coming year.
“This year’s Annual Plan outlines the largest annual investment CPRA has ever made in our coast,” said CPRA Executive Director Bren Haase. “An estimated $1.3 billion will go directly to building some of the largest, strongest, and most innovative projects in the history of our coastal program during this fiscal year. That’s 93% of our revenues dedicated to getting projects on the ground, restoring our ecosystem, and protecting vulnerable communities along our coast.”
After releasing the drafts of the 2023 Coastal Master Plan and the FY24 Annual Plan, CPRA hosted four public hearings throughout coastal communities to present the plans and invite public comments.
During a public comment period from January 6 through March 25, CPRA received 209 comments pertaining to the 2023 Draft Coastal Master Plan and 18 comments on the Draft FY24 Annual Plan. CPRA used these comments to refine the draft plans before submitting them to the CPRA Board for approval.
Following the Board’s approval today, the 2023 Coastal Master Plan and the FY 2024 Annual Plan will be submitted to the legislature for adoption during the 2023 regular session.