coastal restoration

For many, Louisiana’s environmental concerns start at the coast. Certainly, all four of the main gubernatorial candidates agree it’s a crucial issue.

“For our very survival, one of those key challenges is protecting and restoring and stabilizing the coast,” David Vitter says.

Jay Dardenne goes further.

“There is no greater threat to Louisiana than the loss of our coastline. It affects Shreveport and Chicago as much as it does Chackbay and other places along the coast.”

“It threatens many things that are special about Louisiana, including our fisheries, our wildlife, tourism, oil and gas,” John Bel Edwards elaborates.

From Sea to Shining Marsh

Sep 11, 2015
Nick Janzen

Down by the toe of Louisiana’s boot, Bayou Grand Liard used to be surrounded by solid land.

“I’ve talked to people whose fathers and grandfathers used to come out here and hunt rabbits. Now you see it’s all open water,” says Chuck Perrodin, a spokesman for the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

To fix that, the CPRA is in the middle of a marsh creation project at Bayou Grand Liard. “We’re taking what used to be land and marsh, went back into open water, now we have made it back into land,” Perrodin says.

courtesy Louisiana Architects Association

A gubernatorial forum on coastal issues, put on by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, was held Tuesday evening at Nicholls State University. It had all four of the major candidates in agreement on the importance of working to avert Louisiana’s land loss.

Ann Marie Awad

The Atchafalaya Basin is a wedge of wetlands that stretches south to the Gulf of Mexico between the Atchafalaya and Mississippi Rivers. At a million-plus acres, it's America's largest freshwater swamp--and it's long been at risk. But with a new land purchase, The Nature Conservancy will experiment with fixes to those problems.

Louisiana’s congressional delegation — most notably former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu — has fought for coastal restoration funding for years. And it’s just about to pay off big.

“In November of 2017, approximately $170-million is to be made available to the state — $140-million of which comes to the CPRA,” explains Kyle Graham, with Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. The source of the funds is a federal program known as GOMESA.