Louisiana’s revised coastal restoration master plan will be taken up by lawmakers in the regular session, as part of the governor’s legislative package to protect and restore the state’s coast. The bill contains 120 projects to be completed over the next 50 years that will maintain over 800 square miles of coastal land. Jennings Senator Blade Morrish co-authored the legislation.
“It is indeed a long-range plan to put into effect those projects that we can afford,” Morrish said.
Morrish says this living document is updated every year, so projects can be moved around depending on funding. Thirty projects are scheduled to begin or continue construction in the next fiscal year. The master plan costs $50 billion over 50 years, and Morrish says some state dollars are used, but most of the funding comes from outside sources.
“Most of this money is going to be coming through the Restore Act, which was the, for lack of a better term, divvying up of the BP settlement money,” Morrish said.
Nearly $18 billion will go toward marsh creation, $5 billion is set aside for sediment diversion, and $19 billion will be used for hurricane protection. Morrish says the projects are fairly evenly divided between protection and restoration.
“Then we take some of the existing restoration projects and actually give them protection. So it’s a pretty good mix of projects all across the Louisiana coast,” Morrish said.