On June 1, 2007, the Louisiana Legislature unanimously passed the state’s first comprehensive master plan for coastal restoration and hurricane protection. In response, the governor has asked the legislature to commit $200 million of the state’s surplus to the coastal fund and allow for the securitization of the tobacco settlement funds, of which 20% is constitutionally dedicated to the coastal fund. The new master plan is entitled, “Integrated Ecosystem Restoration and Hurricane Protection: Louisiana’s Comprehensive Plan for a Sustainable Coast.”
The legislature also approved the Fiscal Year 2008 Annual Plan. This plan identifies projects within the master plan that will be planned or constructed in the next three years and provides approximate costs for each of these projects.
The state’s master plan will be followed in December 2007 by the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Plan from the Army Corps of Engineers. This plan will likely rely in part on the state’s master plan for direction.