BATON ROUGE, LA (WVLA) — Following the devastating effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Louisiana State Legislature formed the Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority or CPRA in 2005. Their main purpose is hurricane protection and the protection, conservation, restoration, and enhancement of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands and barrier shorelines.
“We are in a battle to save our coast. It is a battle against time that washes away more of our land out to sea each year,” Governor Bobby Jindal said, “and it is a battle we gain ground on by making critical investments in hurricane protection and coastal restoration that strengthen coastal communities.”
Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost over 1800 square miles of land. Scientists estimate an additional 1700 square miles of land could be lost by 2061 and average-annual flood damages could increase ten times, to nearly $23.4 billion, over the next 50 years. Based on public outreach and two years of research, CPRA has created a plan to combat the land-loss problem. Louisiana based scientists, along with national and international experts, outlined 109 projects that could benefit our coastal communities and ecosystems.
“The plan shows that if these projects were fully funded, at a price tag of $50 billion, we could substantially reduce flood risk for communities and make great strides toward a sustainable coast” CPRA says.
CPRA’s plan includes five major objectives:
- Flood Protection: Reduce economic losses from storm surge based flooding.
- Natural Process: Promote a sustainable coastal ecosystem by harnessing the natural processes.
- Coastal Habitats: Provide habitats suitable to support an array of commercial and recreational activities coastwide.
- Cultural Heritage: Sustain the unique cultural heritage of coastal Louisiana.
- Working Coast: Promote a viable working coast to support regionally and nationally important businesses and industries.
For more information about the objective and planned projects outlined by the CPRA, please visit their website here.