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Entries in Coastal Master Plan (2)

Tuesday
Aug082017

New Plan 'a Good Start' for Improving Louisiana Coastal Habitat

A 2017 Coastal Master Plan that will "improve coast-wide habitat for wild crawfish, largemouth bass, alligator, and mottled duck . . . " has been approved by the Louisiana State Legislature. This updated state blueprint prioritizes $50 billion in coastal restoration and risk reduction work during the next 50 years to address land loss, as well as sea level rise and encroachment into marshes.

In arguing for the plan earlier this year, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said, "Save coastal Louisiana, and you save 37 percent of all the coastal marshes in the continental United States. You save the habitat that produces 21 percent of all commercial fisheries' landings by weight in the lower 48 states and is home to approximately 75 percent of all commercially harvested fish species in Louisiana that use our wetlands for at least one stage of their life cycle."

Already, he added, important progress has been made since Hurricane Katrina's devastation in 2005, with more than 31,000 acres of land reclaimed, using more than 115 million cubic yards of material dredged from rivers and the Gulf of Mexico. Also, more than 274 miles of levees have been improved and 52 miles of barrier islands and shorelines restored in a more sustainable fashion.

"It's a good start," he said. "But just a start."

Approval of the 2017 plan received enthusiastic praise from a coalition of local and state conservation organizations, including the National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, and Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.

In a joint statement, they said, “The 2017 Coastal Master Plan process is truly an innovative, unparalleled effort that all Louisianans can be proud of--- and our state desperately needs to implement the plan as quickly as possible. The master plan is grounded in science, balances coastal restoration with protection, and is publicly-informed. Louisiana has again provided a model for how coastal communities around the world can adapt to land loss, rising seas, increased storms and other climate change challenges.

“With sediment diversions as a cornerstone of the master plan, Louisiana stands ready to harness the power of the strongest tool available to build and sustain land – the Mississippi River. The state should continue this momentum by constructing sediment diversions as quickly as possible and take advantage of this amazing resource that is being wasted."

Tuesday
May292012

Tell Congress to RESTORE Mississippi River Delta

Click on photo to like it on Facebook and support Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan.

You help still is needed to save the wetlands of the Mississippi Delta, which are critically important for healthy fish and waterfowl populations.

The Louisiana Legislature has just unanimously approved the first ever truly comprehensive blueprint for restoring those wetlands, which are eroding into the Gulf of Mexico at the rate of a football field an hour.

And here’s where you can help: Money from the federal RESTORE Act could be used to implement this Coastal Master Plan. Both the House and the Senate have passed versions of the bill, but now it is tied up in a lengthy conference process.

Tell your representatives in Congress that funding from the RESTORE Act is vital for protecting and enhancing the wetlands of the Mississippi River Delta and preserving all of the fishing and hunting that they sustain.

Vanishing Paradise says that up to 800 square miles of marshes will be restored with full implementation of the plan, while damage from floods and hurricanes will be reduced by $18 billion annually.

“Unfortunately, finding the money necessary to restore the delta and protect one of America’s most important hunting and fishing grounds will be a challenge,” it adds. “But if we don’t take action soon, an additional 1,700 square miles of wetlands could be lost over the next fifty years.”

Go here to learn more and to become an activist angler on behalf of the nation’s most valuable and endangered wetlands.