Landrieu Comments On Coastal Restoration Funding in President’s Budget

February 5, 2010

Press Release from Senator Mary Landrieu. Comment at our forum.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2/01/10

Landrieu Comments on Coastal Restoration Funding in President’s FY 2011 Budget

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., today commented on the announcement by the White House that $36 million for coastal restoration efforts in Louisiana was included in President Obama’s FY 2011 budget. While federal funds have been used for construction of coastal restoration projects through other programs championed by Senator Landrieu, this marks the first time that any President has put such funds in his budget.

Sen. Landrieu said:

“The President has made an excellent first step by providing $19 million in construction funding for coastal restoration in his budget recommendation. I will be reviewing the President’s request very closely, but any step toward construction of the critical near-term coastal restoration project authorized in the 2007 WRDA is a good start.

“While this budget request is a step in the right direction, the current Federal process for addressing the dramatic ecological and economic crisis in coastal Louisiana is broken. The best of plans and projects are held up by the interminable process of planning, authorizations, complex regulations and insufficient and unreliable funding. Because the work to protect and restore coastal Louisiana could cost billions of dollars, we desperately need a more reliable and robust program to address this crisis.”
Sen. Landrieu will continue to work with the President and the federal interagency working group assembled in the fall to build a new model for coastal Louisiana. This new approach will:

*Advance the design, implementation and construction of coastal protection, restoration and integrated water management for coastal Louisiana on a comprehensive scale;

*Establish a stronger federal-State partnership with balanced roles to govern coastal protection and restoration in Louisiana, and;

*Eliminate costly delays in implementing coastal restoration and protection projects, including the reduction of bureaucratic obstacles, unnecessary studies, inconsistent or conflicting federal laws, policies, and regulations.

The funds were recommended as part of the Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) program that was authorized by the 2007 Water Resources Development Act. The LCA authorized 17 projects identified as critical near term steps to coastal restoration in Southeast Louisiana.

Previous federal funds utilized for constructing coastal restoration have come through programs such as the Coastal Impact Assistance Programs of 2001 and 2005, as well as the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act or Breaux Act.
The President’s Budget also includes important funding for flood control and navigation. Through her position on the Senate Committee on Appropriations Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, Sen. Landrieu will be reviewing these requests in detail and determining whether they adequately meet the needs of Louisiana communities.

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