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Jack Donahue Newsletter 7-31-2007 Coastal Restoration PDF Print E-mail
Friday, August 03 2007 - 8:58 am

 

Coastal Restoration

 

Dear Friends,

Over the past few weeks, I have been walking the district and visiting with voters about their top concerns.

Repeatedly, people mention to me about the need to restore our coast and provide our area with an adequate buffer against dangerous hurricanes.

Louisiana, levees, Katrina, coastal restoration ...

 

 

Coastal Restoration

Jack Donahue Newsletter 7-31-2007

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

Over the past few weeks, I have been walking the district and visiting with voters about their top concerns.

 

Repeatedly, people mention to me about the need to restore our coast and provide our area with an adequate buffer against dangerous hurricanes.

 

Since the 1930’s, Louisiana has lost over 2,000 square miles of coastal wetlands. Manmade levees, oil and gas drilling and damaging hurricanes have contributed to this crisis. Katrina made a severe problem much worse. Every 35 minutes, Louisiana loses a football field of land to the Gulf of Mexico. Sadly, our politicians have not addressed this crisis with appropriate attention and funding. For example, in the last session, legislators spent over $32 billion, but only allocated $200 million for coastal restoration. It was a start, but nowhere near the type of commitment needed to deal with this emergency.

 

Robert Twilley, Director of the LSU Gulf Restoration Initiative, warns that our state has only 10 years to reverse this trend; others say we have even less time.  Many fishing communities like Golden Meadow will be lost forever and New Orleans will become gulf front property. Such erosion will expose areas like the Northshore to increasing threats from hurricanes and tropical storms.  In addition, continued coastal erosion will affect the Northshore by driving more population to our area and burdening our infrastructure and school systems. Our quality of life will be endangered. So, it is in our best interest, as well as the interest of the entire nation to solve this problem.

 

The coastal wetlands of Louisiana are a valuable resource. Almost 30% of all oil and gas in the continental U.S. flows through our state. In addition, 56% of the nation’s grain and a significant percentage of our country’s seafood come through our coast. According to a recent study, approximately $103 billion in assets are at risk if coastal erosion continues unabated.

What has been done about this problem? For two decades, projects have been undertaken, but the results have been minimal and nothing has proven to be capable of reversing the erosion. Louisiana has lost five miles of coastline for every mile that has been created due to restoration initiatives.

 

Now is the time for action and to make this issue a major priority for state government.  We must take the lead in solving our own problem, instead of waiting for the federal government to rescue us. As we learned during Katrina, waiting for the federal government is not a wise course of action.

 

Congress has allocated $20 million per year for coastal restoration through 2017, when the funding will increase to $650 million per year. In the meantime, Louisiana needs to supplement this funding from our state budget and take the future stream of promised funding and bond the indebtedness to create more immediate capital.

 

Many reputable environmental organizations based right here in Louisiana, such as the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, have produced coastal restoration plans that can succeed with the right funding and attention. As your next State Senator, I guarantee that this critical problem will be one of my very top priorities.

 

Throughout the campaign for State Senate, I will continue to provide you my observations and suggestions on significant issues facing the state. It is time for leadership in Baton Rouge, and I stand ready to lead as the next State Senator for District 11. The election will be held on Saturday, October 20. Please join me in this campaign to not only become your next State Senator, but to also begin the long process of turning around the great State of Louisiana.

 

I encourage you to contact me with your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. I can be reached at (985) 612-1034 or via e-mail.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

 

Jack Donahue

Candidate for LA State Senate, District 11