By Savanna Ronco
Chuck Perrodin, public relations director for CPRA of Louisiana, visited LSU campus last Tuesday, October 6, to share why Louisiana’s coast is too important to loose.
The Costal Protection and Restoration public relations director hosted a guest lecture for an environmental communication class, teaching the students how to make their readers care about the vanishing coast.
“Why should the nation send Louisiana money?” Perrodin asked the class. “Why should they care?”
The answer: Louisiana is really important to the nation.
Louisiana is the:
- #1 producer of domestic oil in the U.S.
- #2 producer of natural gas in the U.S.
- Producer of one-third of the nation’s oil and gas
- Only supertanker energy port in the U.S.
- #1 fishery in the lower 48 states
- #1 producer of blue crabs, crawfish, and shrimp
- Home of five of the top 15 tonnage points
“You tell me that we’re not tremendously, uniquely important to the rest of nation?” Perrodin pondered. “Because we are!”
The unfortunate fact is that much of the Louisiana coast is rapidly disappearing. In the last 80 years, the state has lost 1,900 square miles of land. According to the CPRA, the state could lose another 1,750 square miles by the end of the century.
But the good news is, Louisiana can be saved. And Perrodin believes people finally understand the necessity of saving Louisiana.
“[The CPRA] has been telling people for decades,” Perrodin said. “Then came Katrina and everyone could see the devastation. The federal government was embarrassed. People died. And then, they got it.”
The federal government agreed to issue funding to save the Louisiana coast, which led to the CPRA creating the Master Plan, a collection of over a hundred projects to restore the coast. The plan is updated every five years.
According to the CPRA, 160 miles have been built back along the Louisiana coast since Hurricane Katrina, thanks to the Master Plan, using techniques like sediment diversion and pipelines.
“Our models show that if we can get these projects outlined in the Master Plan done, we will not only be able to slow down the erosion of the coast,” Perrodin said, “But completely halt it within the next 30 years.”