– Find political will to protect Louisiana’s coastal residents, Plaquemines Parish president says

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Posted Jan 10, 2017

Plaquemines Parish President Amos Cormier III said Louisiana must follow the Netherlands’ lead in finding the will to save its coast, during a public hearing Monday night (Jan. 8) on Louisiana’s $562 million annual coastal restoration and protection plan.

Speaking to a sparse crowd at the Belle Chasse Auditorium — partly a result of bad weather and the national college football championship on TV — Cormier warned the state must guard against other parts of the nation not understanding the need to preserve as much of coastal Louisiana as possible.

His comments were in part a response to a Dec. 22 Bloomberg News Service article about LA SAFE, a program sponsored by the Louisiana Office of Community Development, in which the publication said the state was “finalizing a plan to move thousands of people from areas threatened by the rising Gulf of Mexico, effectively declaring uninhabitable a coastal area larger than Delaware.”

The state Office of Community Development issued a statement the day after the article appeared, denying that such a plan was being finalized. In the statement, OCD Executive Director Pat Forbes said community meetings in several coastal parishes “produced a wide range of ideas proposed by the community, not the state,” and that Louisiana is “still a long way from developing any policies, but we are starting the discussions in the right place – with the communities who will be most affected by these changes.”

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