Gov. John Bell Edwards gave us a note of confidence last Thursday when he announced he won’t propose cuts in funding coastal restoration projects in Louisiana at the legislative special session.
And he added that there will not be any for the regular session in April.
That is good news because our state’s future prosperity depends on maintaining our coast out as far into the Gulf of Mexico as it is today if we want to continue maintaining the prosperity we have gained in the past with our productive gulf coast that has served us well. It would be a tragic loss if our coast would continue disappearing as in years past.
A new version of the state’s master plan for coastal restoration expected to cost some $50 billion which is revised every five years will be up for vote on April 19. A public comment period on it will run through March 26.
People in Louisiana own their coast and they should not hesitate to suggest some remedies to its demise. It would be good for those who have ideas that have not been put into effect yet to make them known.
Governor Edwards at the announcement meeting Thursday praised the new plan for the coastal restoration in glowing terms. He said he was planning a list of five projects included in the master plan for fast-track consideration in answer to President Donald Trump’s order expediting the permitting for such projects.
Louisiana seems to be taking the lead in the United States and around the world in restoring coastal restoration. But the important job seems to be slow here as elsewhere. But it is time to liven it up before the rising water overtakes the land area of Planet Earth.
There are many usable projects such as diversions of river water that can build up masses of land along our coasts.
Rivers usually have substantial amounts of sediment floating in their water and when they are diverted into lower lands such as that along our coast, the sediment settles down to make higher ground in our wetlands. And when that happens, it can be developed to use it in making our coast and adjacent wetlands more productive.
The future of Louisiana seems to rest in how we can tie in our states high land where we can produce products and get them to the rest of the world through our extensive waterway access here and abroad. And to do that we have to develop our coast to take advantage of the high production we can produce here in our state.
And to do that, we have to go along with Governor Edwards and abandon any thoughts of cutting funding for coastal restoration projects in Louisiana. It is the only way our state can remain as productive as it has been.