Louisiana Declares State of Emergency for Disappearing Coastline

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On April 19, 2017 the Governor of Louisiana declared a State of Emergency for the Louisiana coastline. The hope is that this declaration will bring nationwide attention to the desperate need for restoration and protection. The leadership in Louisiana is hoping that the President and Congress will declare the eroding coastline a national emergency and force Federal agencies to act quickly to help preserve the coast. Louisiana currently has over one hundred restoration and protection projects in the works but progress is slow because of federal regulations, environmental review, and permitting.

We have all heard many times that Louisiana is losing area the size of a football field every hour. These are the coastal wetlands and barriers that protect Louisiana during tropical events with storm surge. The Governor states in the declaration that if nothing is done they will lose something in the area of 2,250 square miles of wetlands in the next fifty years. This will have a lasting impact on the energy, maritime transportation, and trade industries.

I understand where the Governor is coming from. Federal rules and regulations can be sometimes unnecessary and very time consuming to navigate. I applaud his effort to bring attention to his state and the climate change issues they are facing. My concern is that the cries may go unheard in the White House and on Capital Hill. We are talking about the same President that just took to executive action to repeal the Obama Administrations actions to lower our carbon emissions. During his campaign and throughout his public appearances he has denied climate change and its impacts. I’m just saying he doesn’t seem like he would be the most sympathetic to Louisiana’s plight. I could be wrong and every part of my being hopes that he takes this request seriously and helps out in any way that he can with the full force of the Federal Government.

Again, I sympathize with Louisiana. I know what it’s like to feel like your losing something. Here in North Carolina we feel like we are losing the Outer Banks every time we brace for a tropical storm or hurricane. I believe in fighting for what you believe in if it’s worth saving. I take issue with restoring and protecting the wetlands when it’s only a temporary fix? Isn’t this taking a pain medication for a broken leg? Restoring and protecting the wetlands is basically putting a band-aid on the boo-boo. Restoring and protecting isn’t fixing the problem. They want to pump $50 Million (cost of Louisiana’s restoration and protection plan) into a plan that will work for “awhile”. Without addressing the issues that are causing the sea to swallow the wetlands in the first place how much protecting and restoring are they really doing?

Feel free to check out these articles:

NPR

The Times-Picayune on NOLA.com

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