Consistency with Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Coastal Plan
to Ensure a Sustainable Integrated Coastal Ecosystem
WHEREAS, Louisiana and its citizens have suffered catastrophic losses and human, economic, and social harm as a result of coastal land and wetlands loss, and the continued threat of further land loss to Louisiana’s working coast threatens the viability of residential, agricultural, energy, and industrial development as well as valuable fish and wildlife production in coastal Louisiana;
WHEREAS, Louisiana continues to experience one of the fastest rates of coastal erosion in the world, and parts of our State remain unprotected from or vulnerable to future hurricane and flood event impacts;
WHEREAS, our working coast is a national treasure which provides protection for infrastructure that supplies 90% of the nation’s outer continental oil and gas, 20% of the nation’s annual waterborne commerce, 26% (by weight) of the continental U.S. commercial fishing lands, and winter habitat for five million migratory waterfowl;
WHEREAS, coastal Louisiana is also a vital regional asset which serves as residence to two million people and as a historical foundation to our unique cultural heritage;
WHEREAS, Louisiana’s first coastal master plan, Integrated Ecosystem Restoration and Hurricane Protection: Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast (“Coastal Master Plan”), was approved by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (“CPRA”) at its April 12, 2007, meeting and unanimously approved by the Louisiana Legislature through Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 11 during the 2007 Regular Session;
WHEREAS, Louisiana’s Coastal Protection, Conservation, Restoration, and Management Act, La. R.S. 49:214.1-214.42, requires the CPRA Board to review, revise, and amend the Master Plan at least every five years;
WHEREAS, in accordance with their statutory mandate, the CPRA Board approved the 2012 Coastal Master Plan at its March 21, 2012, meeting, and the revised Coastal Master Plan was unanimously approved by the Louisiana Legislature through Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 46 during the 2012 Regular Session;
WHEREAS, the Coastal Master Plan states a goal of protection, through the use of a combination of restoration, nonstructural, targeted structural measures to provide increased flood protection for all communities, and restoration, through the use of an integrated and synergistic approach to ensure a sustainable and resilient coastal landscape;
WHEREAS, the Coastal Master Plan acknowledges the need for coordination among government agencies, as well as our local and federal partners, in order to ensure consistency with the Plan and to achieve the Plan’s missions and objectives;
WHEREAS, billions of dollars have been invested in the Coastal Master Plan and tremendous progress has been made since the 2007 Master Plan, including building or improving approximately 265 miles of levees, constructing 45 miles of barrier islands and berms, and benefitting over 27,000 acres of coastal habitat;
WHEREAS, state agencies must work in a cooperative manner and ensure activities subject to its jurisdictional authority are performed in a manner that expedites and promotes integrated coastal protection projects;
WHEREAS, Louisiana Revised Statute 49:214.3.1 directs the Governor, through his executive assistant for coastal activities, to “coordinate the powers, duties, functions, and responsibilities of any state agency relative to integrated coastal protection”;
WHEREAS, Louisiana Revised Statute 49:214.3.1 also authorizes the Governor, through his executive assistant for coastal activities, to “review and modify proposed coastal use permits prior to issuance to the extent that such permits would authorize activities which significantly affect integrated coastal protection projects or which significantly diminish the benefits of projects intended to protect, conserve or enhance coastal areas and to require the issuance of permits for public or private integrated coastal protection projects or plans.”
NOW THEREFORE, I, JOHN BEL EDWARDS, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: In order to effectively and efficiently pursue the State’s integrated coastal protection goals, all state agencies, departments, and offices shall administer their regulatory practices, programs, projects, contracts, grants, and all other functions vested in them in a manner consistent with Coastal Master Plan and public interest to the maximum extent possible.
SECTION 2: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the Governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 4th day of April, 2016.
John Bel Edwards
Secretary of State