E-alert 3: CPRA & LA Speaks Working Develop Regional Solutions  

Louisiana Speaks Administration
Thursday, October 5, 2006

CPRA & Louisiana Speaks Working to Develop Regional Solutions to Coastal Restoration & Hurricane Protection
Bringing people to gather data and feedback through Louisiana Speaks

BATON ROUGE, La. (October 5, 2006)-- Today representatives from a team of expert planners from Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and Louisiana Speaks provided an update to the Louisiana Recovery Authority's Long-Term Planning Task Force on their efforts to develop regional solutions to preserve and restore Louisiana's coastal wetlands.

"The CPRA has been mandated by the legislature to fully integrate hurricane protection and coastal restoration in a comprehensive, coastal protection master plan, key to our state's long term recovery and rebuilding efforts," Sidney Coffee, Chair of the CPRA, said. "By coordinating with Louisiana Speaks, the plan will be informed by the public's wants and needs. Those needs can then be factored in with the science and engineering guiding our efforts so we have a sound, technical plan in the end."

Created by Act 8 of the 2005 Special Legislative Session, CPRA is charged with creating a master plan that fully integrates Louisiana's coastal restoration and hurricane protection efforts. Louisiana Speaks is supporting the development of the CPRA master plan by sharing data, computer modeling results and public feedback that is collected from stakeholders, elected officials and citizens through various outreach initiatives.

"A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wetlands Research Center now shows that hurricanes Katrina and Rita consumed 217 square miles of Louisiana's coastal lands last year," said Donna Fraiche, chair of the Long-Term Community Planning Task Force. "This tremendous loss underscores the critical role that coastal restoration and storm protection will play in South Louisiana's long-term recovery."

"We cannot afford to lose one more inch of our precious wetlands, which serve as 'speed bumps' to slow down approaching storms and help protect our critical oil and gas infrastructure. I am encouraged by the collaborative efforts of CPRA and our Louisiana Speaks planners and the progress they are making toward the development of a regional plan to that addresses coastal restoration and hurricane protection that incorporates the thoughts and ideas of Louisiana citizens. Because of their work, we are now one step closer to fulfilling the vision of a safer, stronger, smarter Louisiana," she continued.

Louisiana Speaks is the long-term planning initiative of the LRA. With support from the LRA Support Foundation, Louisiana Speaks has engaged a team of top local and national planning experts to gather public input and support the work of CPRA and others toward the development of a regional vision for South Louisiana that will guide recovery and long-term growth.

Over the last year, Louisiana Speaks has surveyed more than 2,500 Louisiana citizens, including residents who are back home and those who are displaced, and brought together nearly 1,000 stakeholders for a series of hands-on workshops. Through these initiatives, Louisianians have provided critical feedback and input for shaping policies on regional issues such as: coastal restoration and storm protection; community growth and transportation infrastructure; and economic development and equity.

Research, data collection and analysis for Louisiana Speaks are provided by a team of top national and local planning experts including: Calthorpe Associates, Fregonese Calthorpe Associates, Dr. Robert Twilley, director of LSU's Wetland Biogeochemistry Institute, ABMB Engineers, Inc., The Brookings Institution, Brown+Danos landdesign, Inc., Collective Strength, Enterprise Community Partners, Jonathan Rose Companies LLC, Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., PolicyLink, and Coastal Louisiana Ecosytem Assessment and Restoration (CLEAR).

For more information about Louisiana Speaks, please visit www.louisianaspeaks.org For more information about the Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority, please visit www.louisianacoastalplanning.org
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Louisiana Speaks is a multifaceted planning process, endorsed by the Louisiana Recovery Authority, to develop a sustainable, long-term vision for South Louisiana in the wake of the destruction caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
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