As a restaurant owner, lifelong resident of Louisiana and secretary of the Pontchartrain Conservancy’s board of directors, I know firsthand how important our coast is to our state's culture, economy and way of life. Its natural beauty is unmatched, and it is essential to industries like shipping, energy and tourism. That's why I am pleased to see the passage of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority's 2023 Coastal Master Plan.
In Louisiana, we love to eat, and it’s how my family has made a living for generations. Our restaurants can only survive if we have good seafood from healthy waters and a thriving coast. But we need customers too. Louisiana folks need good jobs, safe homes and promising futures for their children.
But good jobs, safety, culture and education are at risk. Our state is facing serious peril from sea level rise and increasing storm surges. We've lost thousands of acres of land, and we're facing the loss of thousands more. We must take bold action now to protect the land we have, and restore as much of our coast as possible.
The CPRA’s Coastal Master Plan does just that. It offers a range of projects across south Louisiana to protect our communities, our infrastructure and our economy.
The plan also protects our ports, industrial facilities and transportation networks. These industries are vital to Louisiana's economy and support tens of thousands of jobs.
And the benefits of the plan go beyond economics. They preserve the natural beauty of what the world calls a sportsman's paradise. The restored wetlands and swamps will host flourishing wildlife that is beautiful (and delicious)!
The Coastal Master Plan is a testament to the dedication of Louisiana's leaders, scientists and community members. I am proud to support this plan and urge all Louisianans to do the same.