State leaders gather for 2-day coastal protection, restoration roundtable

Gov. Edwards addresses coastal roundtable

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Current and former state leaders gathered on LSU's campus Monday and Tuesday to discuss coastal restoration and preservation.

The America's Wetland Foundation (AWF) and Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) hosted a two-day roundtable discussion at the Lod Cook Alumni Center on campus. Some of the state's top leaders came together to discuss plans to make sure Louisiana's coast does not continue to disappear as it currently is.

They hope to bring people together to both look at the work that has already been done to help the coast and what can be done moving forward. That includes the 2017 coastal master plan which experts will unveil in January and will be presented to state lawmakers in the spring.

"It really means that we are losing at times, almost every day, a football field of land lost every hour, as the foundation says, to coastal erosion and it's not getting better. With sea level rise, it's getting worse, and we could lose a third of our coast in the next 50 years," said Val Marmillion with AWF.

On Monday, former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne spoke at the roundtable.

The roundtable continued Tuesday with Gov. John Bel Edwards giving his thoughts on coastal erosion and protecting Louisiana's wetlands.

"It really is time to start executing. We've got to start delivering projects to restore our coast and protect people, and of course, we have started, but not in the robust way we need to, and it's all just a matter of revenue to fund the coastal restoration master plan," Edwards said.

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