Interior Secretary visits Louisiana to talk coastal restoration

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The U.S. Secretary of the Interior visited with Louisiana leaders to talk about coastal restoration efforts.

Louisiana leaders spoke with Sec. Ryan Zinke about eliminating bureaucratic red tape they say gets in the way of starting environmental projects.

"This is all about making south Louisiana sustainable, making our communities resilient, and there is no reason the federal government should be opposing those efforts," said Rep. Garret Graves, R-Louisiana. "We come in and find ourselves spending billions and billions of dollars after disasters, instead of  rather than spending millions on the front end."

"The objective is to repair and stop the erosion. Why can't we do that rapidly? Some of it is the regulatory framework is too bureaucratic, you need to go through too many steps," Zinke said.

This was Zinke's first trip to the bayou state since taking office earlier this year. He started his day at the Baton Rouge Water Campus viewing their river model. Zinke also visited the Jean Lafitte National Park and took an airport ride in St. Charles Parish.

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