April 19, 2017 — Louisiana’s proposed 2017 master plan update for coastal restoration and hurricane protection should contain more marsh creation projects in the Barataria and Terrebonne basins. It needs more projects protecting coastal and lake shorelines on the western part of the state. And it needs more money for flood-proofing businesses, elevating houses and moving people out of frequently flooded locations.
Those are the major themes of more than 1,300 comments submitted by the public to the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, which is scheduled to vote on the master plan Wednesday (April 19). The authority’s staff has incorporated some of the suggestions in updated versions of the master plan and the 2018 annual plan, which acts as the budget of the master plan. If both documents are approved, which is expected, they will be submitted to the Legislature for a vote in its current session ending June 8.
The written comments include several complex recommendations from public officials, business leaders, scientists, fishers and the general public, along with many simpler recommendations. Too, there are hundreds of form letters distributed by a coalition of interest groups such as Native American tribes, interfaith community organizations and Vietnamese Americans.