Baton Rouge, LA (STL.News) Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a proclamation honoring former Senator John Breaux for the 30th Anniversary of the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) also known as the “Breaux Act. ” Established in 1990, CWPPRA has authorized 226 coastal restoration projects benefiting nearly 105,000 acres of coastal habitat, and directing more than two billion dollars in investment into the restoration of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.
“Louisiana is now an international leader in coastal restoration due in large part to Senator Breaux’s efforts that put a spotlight on our coastal land loss crisis three decades ago,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “Thanks to Senator Breaux, Washington, D.C. took notice of the importance of Louisiana’s wetlands and provided funds and buy-in from five federal agencies to speed restoration. Senator Breaux built a legacy that will benefit the people of Louisiana for years to come, and we thank him for the investments he made in the future of our state.”
“Coastal erosion in Louisiana is like a silent hurricane that happens every day all day,” said Senator John Breaux. “The land we lose from coastal erosion is lost forever. And everything we can do to postpone and repair that damage is incredibly important. One of my proudest accomplishments is the passage of the Breaux Act and what it means to generations and generations of Louisianans.”
CWPPRA enacted a system for developing and implementing projects in partnership with five federal agencies as well as state and local representatives. CWPPRA is managed by a Task Force composed of the State of Louisiana, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Marine Fisheries Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). USACE chairs the Task Force.
“Not only one of the first, CWPPRA is also one of the nation’s most successful coastal planning, protection and restoration endeavors,” said Col. Stephen Murphy, Commander of the Corps of Engineers New Orleans District and CWPPRA Task Force Chairman. “The key to the program’s success has been the federal and state partnership that Senator Breaux envisioned three decades ago. This foundation of collaboration and cooperation will help ensure that CWPPRA remains a valuable tool in the fight against coastal land loss for the foreseeable future.”
CWPPRA also created the Coastwide Reference Monitoring System which collects data measuring changes along the coast that can be used to evaluate project effectiveness to improve future projects and inform future plans. CWPPRA established a reliable funding stream for coastal restoration that has connected boaters and other sportsmen to the sustainability of the sportsman’s paradise.
The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) is CWPPRA’s state-level partner in the planning and implementation of all projects and is the lead agency for the operations, maintenance, and monitoring on all projects.
“CWPPRA jump-started our fight to save the coast by establishing a mutually beneficial partnership among federal, state, and local governments alongside academia, land owners, and the general public, which is no small task,” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline. “CWPPRA is the foundation of our coastal program as we know it today, providing the first consistent funding stream for coastal restoration while promoting transparency and citizen engagement through its project selection and development process. We applaud Senator Breaux for his tremendous contributions to Louisiana’s coast.”
Click here to read the governor’s proclamation.