$50 Billion Coastal Master Plan Updated in Louisiana

Louisiana is losing coastal lands, quickly, along with the habitat and economic resources located there. A Coastal Master Plan plots $50 billion in spending to protect the coast.

2 minute read

January 20, 2023, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority recently released a 100-page, draft update of a $50 billion coastal master plan, officially titled the 2023 Coastal Master Plan, with several substantive changes proposed for the coming year.

Mark Schleifstein broke the news of the new plan earlier this month, reporting that the draft updated for the plan calls for 61 new projects to “to build or protect land, a dozen new levees, and new efforts to elevate, flood-proof or relocate flood-prone homes” in the plan. In all, the plan is estimated to reduce hurricane storm damages by $11 billion every year by 2073.

Among the changes included in the draft update are “construction of projects long proposed to reduce flooding risk, such as a $2.4 billion concrete barrier and weir combination aimed at reducing surge entering Lake Pontchartrain through the Rigolets and Chef Menteur passes,” according to Schleifstein. Schleifstein also reports that the draft plan reverses course on the idea of building levees, “including plans to protect portions of Iberia and St. Mary parishes from Gulf of Mexico surge; to dramatically upgrade levees surrounding the Lafitte area, and to protect portions of St. James and Ascension parishes, where sea level rise is expected to increase the threat of flooding from Lake Maurepas over the next 50 years.

As noted in the article, the Louisiana has already lost 2,000 square miles of coastal land since 1932, directly impacting fisheries and wildlife resources along the coast—along with the jobs that depend on them.

More details from the updated plan (this is the fourth update of the plan since it was first adopted by the Louisiana State legislature in 2007) are included in the source article below. Public comment on the plan is open through March 25.

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