FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marc Stevens, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, 225-412-1707, firstname.lastname@example.org
CRCL Urges Legislators to Support 2019 Legislative Platform and Policy Objectives
Platform Represents Thousands of Louisiana Residents From Throughout the State
(Baton Rouge, LA – April 8, 2019) The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana is the largest and oldest coastal advocacy organization in Louisiana. Each year, CRCL, on behalf of its 20,000 members and supporters, sends a set of critical policy objectives to our state legislators. In response to the opening of the 2019 legislative session, CRCL Policy Director Emily Vuxton has released the following statement:
“This platform represents the views of thousands of motivated members of our organization who represent diverse backgrounds and points of view. Our members are parents, fishermen, teachers, and many other people who live and thrive in the precious and fragile coastal ecosystem we call home,” Vuxton said. “We urge each of our state legislators to consider the following priorities that are crucial to effectively address the unprecedented challenges facing Louisiana. Only deliberate and far-sighted legislative action will give coastal Louisiana a chance to meet this land loss crisis. There’s no time to lose.”
1. Protect and Increase CPRA Funding
In the past, CPRA has experienced mid-year budget cuts that have imperiled its ability to meet its mission. We urge the legislature to avoid making any cuts to CPRA’s budget this fiscal year. The Legislature should support and fund the Chairman’s efforts to ensure the agency is reasonably resourced so that projects move to completion as quickly as possible and are not delayed due to inadequate capacity. The Legislature should also continue to work with our federal delegation to protect GOMESA from cuts.
2. Pass the Annual Plan
CPRA continues to make strides in advancing ambitious annual plans for the legislature to consider. In the past year, following comments from legislators and stakeholders, CPRA made this year’s annual plan the most readable and digestible annual plan yet. CRCL believes that their goal was admirably met. The annual plan reflects the hard work CPRA does in planning ambitious projects that will protect and restore our coast. We urge you to pass the annual plan swiftly and without unnecessary delay.
3. Pay for HSDRSS debt with State Capital Outlay
The state’s bill for the New Orleans area Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the years following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 is $1.1 billion. The 2020 Coastal Annual Plan requests that the Legislature support $103.1 million to make the state’s first of 30 years of payments. Currently, the plan is to use Capital Outlay funds to meet this responsibility. We encourage the state to use this option and not divert funds from CPRA’s budget to meet this responsibility.
4. Continue to Press for Urgent Action on Large Scale Sediment Diversions
The science is clear: large scale sediment diversions are the best hope for restoring coastal Louisiana. Significant progress has been made in the last year in expediting the permitting process for the planned Mid-Barataria and Mid-Breton sediment diversions. Legislators should continue to support CPRA and the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities to encourage cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Louisiana’s Trustee Implementation Group for swift permitting and the beginning of construction of the Mid-Barataria and Mid-Breton sediment diversions as soon as possible.
CRCL is a non-partisan, non-profit organization driving bold, science-based action to restore coastal Louisiana through outreach, restoration, and advocacy. CRCL was founded in 1988 and is the state’s oldest and most comprehensive coastal restoration organization. Visit crcl.org.