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State Takes Comments On 2019 Restoration Plan

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Travis Lux
/
WWNO
Area residents listen to a presentation about the 2019 Annual Plan, which outlines the state's coastal protection and restoration projects for the next fiscal year.

The state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) wants feedback on its list of projects for the next year. Officials are holding a series of public meetings. The first meeting was last night in Belle Chasse.

 

The state’s big-picture plan to protect and restore the coast is updated every five years — it includes plans for things like river diversions and rebuilding marshes. That’s the Master Plan. But the money for those projects is approved on a yearly basis — the Annual Plan.

The legislature must approve it. But first, the CPRA has to get input from the public.

 

Robert Perez works for a sportfishing marina near the mouth of the Mississippi River. He’s seen the marshes die off from the Roseau cane bug, an invasive pest. And he’s afraid that will make boat navigation harder.

 

“This could shut the whole Port of New Orleans down,” he says.

 

Perez wants the CPRA to dedicate more money towards fighting invasive species like the cane bug.

 

The CPRA will consider concerns like this, and maybe make revisions in the final version of their plan.

 

The CPRA will hold two more public meetings on the annual plan. Tuesday night in Houma, and Wednesday night in Lake Charles.

 

Support for the Coastal Desk come from the Walton Family Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation and local listeners.

 

Correction: this story was corrected to more accurately reflect how public comments are used by the CPRA.

As Coastal Reporter, Travis Lux covers flood protection, coastal restoration, infrastructure, the energy and seafood industries, and the environment. In this role he's reported on everything from pipeline protests in the Atchafalaya swamp, to how shrimpers cope with low prices. He had a big hand in producing the series, New Orleans: Ready Or Not?, which examined how prepared New Orleans is for a future with more extreme weather. In 2017, Travis co-produced two episodes of TriPod: New Orleans at 300 examining New Orleans' historic efforts at flood protection. One episode, NOLA vs Nature: The Other Biggest Flood in New Orleans History, was recognized with awards from the Public Radio News Directors and the New Orleans Press Club. His stories often find a wider audience on national programs, too, like NPR's Morning Edition, WBUR's Here and Now, and WHYY's The Pulse.

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