News | April 20, 2017

America's Wetland Foundation Applauds Governor's Declaration Of Emergency For Louisiana's Coast

John Bel

Request to President Could Expedite Permitting for Restoration Efforts

The America's WETLAND Foundation (AWF) recently applauds Governor John Bel Edwards' declaration of emergency for Louisiana's coast, an action called for at the summit on February 16, 2017, hosted by AWF and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA).

Opening the February summit, AWF's board chairman, King Milling urged citizens, government leaders, businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to recognize a continuous storm destroying Louisiana's coast. "The lower Mississippi will be threatened by future storms that will materially impact international trade and commerce, which has been the cornerstone of wealth and community vitality from Arkansas to Minnesota. These conditions constitute the very definition of emergency," Milling said.

The Governor's emergency declaration would allow state agencies to streamline the implementing of coastal protection efforts, expediting restoration projects and would make the case for more flexibility within the federal regulatory process that so often slows down the permitting process.

The Governor's emergency declaration would allow state agencies to streamline the implementing of coastal protection efforts, expediting restoration projects and would make the case for more flexibility within the federal regulatory process that so often slows down the permitting process.

"Environmental, navigation, energy and transportation assets housed in Louisiana's wetlands are gravely threatened by the continued loss of the state's coast and the U.S. depends upon them for its energy and economic security," Milling said. "Louisiana has pledged to spend every available dollar to offset this deterioration as set forth in the master plan. Every dollar that has been dedicated for this purpose must be used to enhance large scale projects and programs and must incorporate both restoration and protection efforts."

The February summit on the national significance of Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan and also convened by AWF and the CPRA, followed two leadership roundtables convened by AWF and CPRA held this past fall where topics surrounding Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan were the focus of discussions aimed at making the master plan operational and adequately funded.

The summit drew panels of well known coastal leaders who have been advocating for wetlands restoration for more than a decade. Speakers and panelists included Governor John Bel Edwards, former Governor Kathleen Blanco, CPRA Chairman Johnny Bradberry, and a host of renowned scientists and coastal experts from throughout the U.S., community and political eaders, NGOs, agency officials, private landowners, and leaders of business and industry.

About The America's WETLAND Foundation (AWF)
The America's WETLAND Foundation manages the largest, most comprehensive public education campaign in Louisiana's history, raising public awareness of the impact of Louisiana's wetland loss on the state, nation and world. The initiative is supported by a growing coalition of world, national and state conservation and environmental organizations and has drawn private support from businesses that see wetlands protection as a key to economic growth. For more information, visit www.americaswetland.com.

SOURCE: The America's WETLAND Foundation (AWF)