Coastal protection leaders agree to 'compromise' on restoration, infrastructure

Coastal protection leaders agree to 'compromise' on restoration, infrastructure
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority said it has reached a $300 million 'compromise' plan to elevate and complete the LA 1 bridge running through the energy corridor and coastal parishes losing land to erosion.

Leaders said Wednesday at the Louisiana State Capitol that the new plan will pay for the bridge with offshore oil money and not at the expense of saving the state's eroding coast. A previous plan from the Governor's Office called for spending BP money on the project.

"We all know how important coastal restoration is," said Rep. Karen St. Germaine, D-Pierre Part. "Nobody needs to beat that into our heads."

The compromise will take up to ten percent of offshore revenue and put it toward infrastructure projects that are related to coastal erosion.

"LA 1 is one of the most important pieces of coastal infrastructure along the entire Gulf coast," said Chip Kline, Chairman of the LA Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

Along with the board, who passed the measure unanimously, it also has the support of coastal parish presidents and some environmental groups.

"I'm just very, very grateful that you found an alternative to the original proposal," said Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph.

Those opposed to the plan spoke after supporters.

"It is neither restoration or protection," said Scott Eustis with Gulf Restoration Network.

"What's going to be the effect of construction once it's complete?" asked Marshall Broussard, an oil and gas worker.

"We need that money to restore our coast. Where's that road going to lead? It's going to lead to nowhere if we can't restore it," said Sean Turner, a 12-year-old from Prairieville.

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