(WAFB) - On Wednesday, April 19, Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of crisis and emergency for the Louisiana coast.
The proclamation will be sent to President Donald Trump and members of Congress as a necessary means of raising the national profile of this crisis and speeding up restoration projects.
"The Louisiana coast is in a state of crisis that demands immediate and urgent action to avert further damage to one of our most vital resources. Immediately addressing this crisis will rejuvenate Louisiana's economy and provide benefits across generations and positively impact the nation's economy, including energy production, transportation and refining, intermodal commerce and trade, fisheries, disaster resilience, and natural resources," said Edwards.
More than half the state's population lives on the coast, with significant industries that provide jobs, taxes, and other products that are integral to the state's well being as a whole. These coastal resources are also of vital interest to the whole nation in the ares of energy, chemicals, international trade, fisheries, and national defense.
The governor's emergency proclamation will deliver tangible benefits to the people and industries of the state by allowing state agencies to streamline the implementation of coastal protection efforts. The proclamation will help speed up coastal restoration projects and put the funding for these projects to work more quickly by making the case for flexibility within the federal regulatory process, which typically slows down the permitting process.
Edwards sent a letter to President Trump in March regarding coastal protection infrastructure projects and burdensome federal regulations.
An estimated 2,250 square miles of Louisiana's coastline is expected to be lost in the next 50 years if immediate and urgent action is not taken. Shorlines, marshes, and swamps serve as a vital barrier against storm surges and flooding along the coast, and they are disappearing.
Click here to read the governor's full proclamation.