Louisiana Releases Draft Annual Plan for Coastal Restoration and Protection

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Posted by National Wildlife Federation

Plan Includes CPRA’s Recommendations for Two Sediment Diversions

(BATON ROUGE, La. – January 12, 2016) Last week, Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) released its draft Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Plan for Integrated Ecosystem Restoration and Hurricane Protection in Coastal Louisiana. This year’s Annual Plan expands on last fall’s recommendation by CPRA to advance two sediment diversion projects at Mid Barataria and Mid Breton.

CPRA is required by the state legislature to produce an Annual Plan that reports on the progress of projects as well as project funding schedules and budgets. The agency will host a series of three public meetings this week in Lake Charles, New Orleans and Thibodaux and is accepting comments on the draft plan. Steve Bender, director of Vanishing Paradise – a program of National Wildlife Federation uniting sportsmen and women from across the country on the important issue of Mississippi River Delta restoration – released the following statement:

“The Annual Plan is an important part of the path forward for restoring the Mississippi River Delta in coastal Louisiana, where we are losing land at the rapid rate of a football field every hour. With that land goes vital fish and wildlife habitat that is home to some of the best salt- and freshwater fishing and waterfowling in the world.

“The Annual Plan gives CPRA the opportunity to take inventory of projects in the Coastal Master Plan, project funding for different initiatives and communicate directly with the public on the status and future progress of specific projects.

“We are pleased to see the most current and best-available science continue to determine the CPRA’s priorities for restoration. As the 2016 Annual Plan says, the Mid Barataria and Mid Breton sediment diversions must continue to move forward into the engineering and design phases, and eventually, implementation.

“Sediment diversions use the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to help rebuild the collapsing delta – the power, sediment and water from the Mississippi River itself. Diversions provide the best opportunity to restore our coast, because our vanishing delta can only survive if we allow the river that built it to rebuild and sustain it. Keeping these diversions progressing should be of utmost importance to us all.

“We look forward to continuing to work alongside CPRA, other organizations and residents all along the coast to get diversions up and running.”