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In a first-of-its-kind forum, five top candidates for Louisiana’s open senate seat gathered at LSU to lay out their plans for making the restoration and protection of Coastal Louisiana a national priority. CRCL’s bCoastal Issues Forum highlighted the fact that Louisiana is facing a land loss crisis that will require bold, science-based action by our next senator.

“We often think of our land loss crisis as one that only affects Louisiana, but in reality it’s a problem that has far reaching ramifications. We asked some tough questions of our US Senate candidates and I think it’s clear that they understand the importance of taking bold actions to save our coast,” said Kimberly Davis Reyher, CRCL’s Executive Director. “To succeed, it will take unprecedented leadership, coordination, and political resolve.”

All five candidates—Congressman Charles Boustany, Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, Caroline Fayard, Congressman John Fleming and Colonel Rob Maness—agreed that harnessing the power of the river to build land through sediment diversions is key to restoring our coast. They also agreed that streamlining the bureaucratic process is imperative if Louisiana is to meet the target date of 2020 to break ground on the Mid-Barataria Diversion, as set out by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

The candidates also tackled major coastal questions, which included how to secure funding for critical restoration projects, how climate change should be addressed to help alleviate Louisiana’s coastal land loss, how to keep the National Flood Insurance Program viable and whether oil and gas companies and other industries should be singled out for their role in this crisis.

The Coastal Issues Forum is archived in its entirety at here.

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