Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Saving Louisiana

Click here for a short audio slideshow about Louisiana's quickly disappearing coastline

click on photo for full-size version

Experts agree we have 10 years or less to act before the loss becomes irreversible.

There is hope. State officials expect to get a jump-start on building restoration projects as early as this August, thanks to $523 million in offshore revenues provided under the federal Coastal Impact Assistance Program.

A permanent dedication of offshore revenue to the state will kick in only $20 million a year until 2017, after which the state should be collecting a minimum of $670 million a year, Coffee said. But the state can borrow against that revenue stream immediately.

And that almost certainly will be required, because by 2017 the coastal erosion problem likely will have become irreversible. By issuing bonds backed by future offshore revenue, the state will gain the flexibility not only to speed up construction but to launch projects not authorized by Congress.

The Chicory has some images from google showing Louisiana's land loss here

Kudo's to the Times Picayune for this special series on coastal restoration.

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