Welcome To The Survey...This Is Where Your Voice Gets Heard!


REVIEW the 7 items below we are asking to be included in the FINAL VERSION of the 2017 Coastal Master Plan...on your behalf...your vote for these items will be submitted to CPRA on March 26, 2017...your vote will also be submitted to State Legislators before the beginning of the regular State Legislative Session on April 10, 2017.

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1. Incorporate a community economic development approach throughout the Plan to include transitional small business development programs and policies, employment opportunities that pay living wages, job training to support coastal restoration and local economies.
The Draft Plan is missing a community economic development approach that is people-centered and benefits low- and moderate-income individuals and families. This can be rectified by creating sustainable small business development programs and policies, as well as employment opportunities that pay living wages. Incentives need to be provided within the Coastal Master Plan to allow for local small businesses to benefit from contracting opportunities that allow coastal entrepreneurs to use pre-existing skills and resources (i.e. accessible certification programs, preference to disadvantaged business enterprises, etc.). Nonstructural funding should also be identified specifically for job training in robust sectors that support coastal restoration and local economies (i.e., metalsmithing, shipping, restoration work, etc.) to mitigate the job loss that could result from major projects.

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2. Provide accurate, accessible and consistent information to the public by developing a timeline for building partnerships with trusted community based NGOs and tribal institutions.
CPRA should circulate detailed, accessible and consistent information in a time-frame that allows for community feedback and inclusion. The Authority must build partnerships with trusted community-based NGOs and tribal institutions, allowing them to provide case management services to low-income, rural, and other hard to reach communities to help residents and small business owners navigate the frameworks and implementation of nonstructural strategies. It is imperative that the Authority commits to not only listening to community questions, but works to provide well-reasoned and effective answers.

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3. Prioritize communities most at risk, in particular low-income residents living in areas with 14ft or above Base Flood Elevation.
CPRA should flip prioritization to focus on those who are most at risk and low-income residents. Further, it should provide incentives for community-level approaches to elevation, flood-proofing, and relocation.  The state should leverage its financial resources for developing community-wide approaches, encouraging neighbors to take action together to preserve the character and function of coastal neighborhoods as they take steps to improve collective resiliency.  In particular, low-income residents living in areas with 14ft BFE or above and those who make their livelihood in the Gulf are the most at risk from coastal land loss. They need to know their options, as well as what the state is planning to do to help them beyond marking their communities as voluntary acquisition or a “resettlement zone”.
Our rural communities deserve to be prioritized for assistance based on their risk, not how many of their neighbors have been forced to leave due to past flooding or population changes. Economic value of a residential community’s assets over time should not be based on population growth. Attachment C3-25: Storm Surge and Risk Assessment of the 2017 Draft Coastal Master Plan assumes that a home is more valuable over time if the surrounding population grows faster. This assumption about value is unsupported. CPRA also specifically looks at population change between 1950-2000.  However, according to the U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigation about Land area change in coastal Louisiana from 1932 to 2010, low-lying coastal areas have been experiencing the impact of land loss since before 1950.  The land loss is why people are moving away.  This assumption about value over time based on population growth diminishes the prioritization and value of Louisiana’s low-lying residential communities that have been historically threatened by coastal erosion.

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4. Treat public input as a formal public comment, specifically citizens’ scientific knowledge and Traditional Ecological Knowledge.
The Draft Master Plan does not include communities’ knowledge or needs. Coastal residents’ and entrepreneurs’ comments and suggestions must be properly considered and incorporated in the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan and subsequent annual plans. CPRA needs to formally respond to communities’ questions about how their suggestions offered during public meetings and formal comment periods were used, including if and why they were or were not incorporated.
The CPRA should develop a community engagement framework to inform coastal communities about their five-year plan prior to each revision. This framework needs to be written down and included in the plan so the Authority can be held accountable by the coastal communities it serves. The CPRA must present their project outline and impacts with ample time to receive feedback. This feedback should be publicly addressed by the CPRA at community forums where residents, fishermen and other coastal entrepreneurs can educate the state using their generational, cultural, and ecological knowledge; citizens’ science must be taken as seriously as other forms of scientific knowledge.

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5. Give equal weight to the “Flood Risk and Resilience Stakeholder Group” and the “Community Focus Group” in the planning process as to other groups. 
Community engagement and outreach must provide grounded solutions that anticipate and incorporate community needs based on the feedback provided by members of the Flood Risk and Resilience Stakeholder Group and the Community Focus Group.  The contributions of both of these groups should follow the same feedback and comment process as all other stakeholder and CPRA Focus Groups that advise on the Coastal Master Plan.

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6. Accompany restoration and structural projects, in the 2012 and 2017 Master Plan, with nonstructural mitigation measures.
Large-scale structural projects proposed in the 2017 Master Plan could significantly impact the livelihoods of commercial fishermen and other coastal business owners. The potential effects of several projects are currently unknown; establishing a clear understanding of how communities will be affected and to what degree is imperative, as are outreach efforts that share this knowledge with community members and leaders. With this knowledge, these structural projects must be accompanied by clearly defined non structural mitigation measures to protect our communities. Our communities support a Multiple Lines of Defense approach to protecting our coast.  However, we cannot ignore the impacts of these projects on low-income residents and those who are most at risk; CPRA should not, either.
Grand Bayou, Braithwaite, and Phoenix/Pointe A La Hache should be considered prerequisites for structural project(s).  Attachment E3 of the 2017 Draft Coastal Master Plan incorrectly states that none of these areas are experiencing induced flooding caused by a structural project.

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7. For every 80 cents of the budget allocated or spent on restoration and structural projects in the FY 2018 Annual Plan, 20 cents must be allocated or spent on a non-structural project (elevation, relocation, flood proofing).
Structural and non structural spending should be proportional throughout the planning, prioritizing, and implementation process.  For nonstructural spending, the 2017 Draft Coastal Master Plan allocates $6.1 billion, or 12.2 percent of the overall $50billion budget.  This is an 8 percent decrease from the 2012 Coastal Master Plan.  The 2012 Coastal Master Plan - Distribution of Funding by Project Type, had set the amount at $10.2 billion, or 20.4 percent of the overall $50billion budget.   The percentage of spending for nonstructural should be set at 20% of whatever amount gets allocated ($200 million per year).
In order to raise a portion of the funds needed for nonstructural projects, CPRA should pass a resolution dedicating a portion of annual offshore energy revenues coming to Louisiana under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) for funding nonstructural flood protection strategies and entrepreneurial support strategies.

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* Contact Information

We are citizens Speaking Up because Our Voice is Our Future.
I want my recommendations regarding the 2017 Coastal Master Plan DRAFT included in the public comments submitted to:

CPRA: March 26, 2017
Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
Attn: Johnny Bradberry, Governor’s Executive Assistant for Coastal Activities
P.O. Box 44027
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-4027

State Legislative Delegation: April 10, 2017

Representative Jerome Zeringue
423 Goode St
Houma, LA 70360

Senator Norbert Chabert
P.O.Box 2417
Houma, LA 70361

Representative Beryl Amedee
302 School St
Houma, LA 70360

Representative Tanner Magee
7833 Main St
Houma, LA 70360

Senator RL Bret Allain, II
600 Main St
Franklin, LA 70538