(BATON ROUGE, LA — January 23, 2019) Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards made two key announcements today for funding and strong leadership of coastal programs to address the state’s land loss crisis. First, the governor has proposed allocating $55 million from state surplus dollars to the constitutionally-protected Coastal Trust Fund to support projects in the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan to address the crisis, as well as announcing more than $300 million through the Gulf of Mexico Security Act (GOMESA) to fund master plan risk-reduction projects across the coast over the next three years. Secondly, the governor announced that Chip Kline has been appointed as Executive Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Activities, a position that also serves as Chairperson of the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA). Kline, who was serving in an interim capacity for the position, has served in coastal leadership positions for a decade.
Restore the Mississippi River Delta, a coalition of national and local conservation organizations committed to coastal Louisiana restoration including Environmental Defense Fund, the National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, released the following statement:
“Today’s announcements from Governor Edwards are steps forward for our coast.
“The Governor’s decision to dedicate a significant amount of state surplus dollars to the Coastal Fund demonstrates that he and Louisiana are committed to addressing our land loss crisis with urgency. It is also encouraging to see GOMESA dollars being used to advance more than 20 Coastal Master Plan risk-reduction projects across the state. With the Gulf of Mexico inching closer every day, Louisiana needs to secure and protect as much funding as possible to ensure coastal restoration and protection projects are implemented quickly. Dedicating state surplus funds to address these coastal needs is an important step forward for the communities, jobs and wildlife our coast supports.
“We’re also pleased to see the appointment of Chip Kline as Chairperson of CPRA. Chip has helped Louisiana navigate some of the most difficult challenges our coast has faced – from oil spill settlement negotiations to implementation of complex, large-scale protection and restoration projects. His experience advocating for Louisiana’s coast at the local, state and federal levels has greatly benefited our state. We look forward to continuing to work with Mr. Kline as we collectively tackle the greatest challenge facing Louisiana.”
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Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.
Restore the Mississippi River Delta is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Composed of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. Learn more at MississippiRiverDelta.org and on Facebook and Twitter.