Report Highlights Cost Of Continued Land Loss

Dec 19, 2015

A new state study says land loss could cost Louisiana a lot of money if nothing is done. The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority commissioned the study, which was done by LSU and the RAND Corporation.

Charles Sutcliffe, CPRA's director of policy and programs, says they found that if a Hurricane Katrina-like storm hits again in the next 50 years, even with the new $14 billion protection system built since Hurricane Katrina, it could cost the state more than $133 billion. He says they hope the numbers convince policymakers to help support the state’s 50-year, $50 billion coastal master plan.

“The point is that there are certain audiences that are going to respond to this type of message more so than they are to an environmental message, or even a message about coastal communities – as important as they are,” Sutcliffe says.

Sutcliff adds they plan to share the results of the report with policymakers.

“We are trying to get the message out to the Washington DC-type policymakers that proactive measures to this land loss crisis make economic sense, there’s just too much at risk.”

The study looked at how much the state would have to pay to replace commercial, residential and network infrastructure lost by the disappearing coastline. That estimate ranges from about $2 billion over 25 years to $3.5 billion after 50 years.

Support for WWNO's Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Coypu Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.