BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Governor John Bel Edwards signed an emergency declaration today proclaiming the state's coast in crisis.
"The Louisiana coast is in a state of crisis that demands immediate and urgent action to avert further damage to one of our most vital resources," said Gov. Edwards. "Immediately addressing this crisis will rejuvenate Louisiana's economy and provide benefits across generations and positively impact the nation's economy, including energy production; transportation and refining; intermodal commerce and trade; fisheries; disaster resilience; and natural resources."
The declaration will be sent to Congress and President Donald Trump.
The state says Governor Edwards' move allows state agencies to streamline implementation of integrated coastal protection efforts. Edwards says "unprecedented" large-scale funding for restoration projects is on hand and this proclamation will help expedite the projects and make a case to the federal government for putting that money to work.
The state says if urgent action is not taken, an estimated 2,250 square miles of coastal Louisiana is expected to be lost in the next 50 years. Louisiana's coast, which is made up of shorelines, marshes and swamps, serve as a first line of defense against storm surge and flooding.