Hunters and anglers praise innovative plan that can rebuild and sustain fish and waterfowl habitat.
(Baton Rouge, LA—June 2, 2017) Today, Louisiana’s state Legislature overwhelmingly passed a resolution that approves the 2017 Coastal Master Plan, a blueprint for the state’s coastal restoration and protection activities over the next 50 years. The master plan prioritizes a list of $50 billion in coastal restoration and protection projects to combat Louisiana’s grave land loss crisis, which threatens prime fish waterfowl habitat.
The plan was developed by the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), accounting for extensive public feedback and using the best-available science for how Louisiana can realistically address challenges facing the coast.
Vanishing Paradise, a program of the National Wildlife Federation, issued the following statement regarding the plan’s passage:
“Sportsmen and women around the nation applaud the Louisiana Legislature’s approval of the 2017 Coastal Master Plan today, while also praising Louisiana’s CPRA for designing an innovative vision for the future of the coast that is based in sound science and supported by and overwhelming majority of Louisianians.
“The coastal land loss crisis in Louisiana threatens the hunting and fishing heritage that earned the state its nickname as a ‘Sportsman’s Paradise.’ Without healthy Louisiana wetlands, millions of North American waterfowl would have no winter habitat, and world-class fresh- and saltwater fishing opportunities would be severely impacted. Moving forward without urgent and decisive action to restore the Louisiana coast is not an option.
“Unlike other coastal areas around the world facing habitat loss and other environmental challenges, Louisiana stands in a unique position with a powerful tool – the Mississippi River – available to help restore and sustain new wetlands. The key cornerstone projects of the master plan are two sediment diversion projects that harness the power of the Mississippi River to strategically deliver silt, sand and fresh water from the river into its delta – a controlled effort to recreate what the river once did naturally. The state should continue advancing these sediment diversion projects as efficiently as possible to take advantage of what is currently a wasted resource.
“We are prepared to work with CPRA, state and federal agencies and sportsmen and women in Louisiana and around the country to ensure that the projects in the master plan progress. We must ensure future generations of hunters and anglers don’t miss out on one of the most productive hunting and fishing areas on the planet.”
The suite of projects outlined in the plan has received widespread support from a diverse array of coastal advocates, stakeholders, parish officials and communities. Additionally, a recent poll released by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition revealed that an overwhelming majority of Louisiana voters (88%) wanted their legislators to approve the master plan and 97% of respondents recognized the value of our Louisiana’s coastal areas and wetlands.