The scientists and staff at the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) are in the process of developing the third version of the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan. This document is the official framework and plan for Louisiana to save our coast from the ravages of decades of abuse and the climate change process that threatens to take much of the coast under the Gulf of Mexico unless we act.
Bren Haase is the chief of CPRA’s Planning and Development section. The Baton Rouge native has been working on coastal protection and restoration since before there was a CPRA. CPRA was created in the wake of the 2005 hurricane season which saw Katrina and Rita wreck just about all of south Louisiana in late August and early September. CPRA drew on elements of the coastal protection and restoration programs that had been in place in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD). The move provided the kind of clear focus that will be needed to save our coast.
In the interview, Haase says the new plan will continue to work in the context of constrained state budgets. He expects the price tag to remain roughly the same as the plan developed in 2012 — $50 Billion to be spent over 50 years. In order to do that, some plans currently on the books will have to be abandoned while new ones will be added. It also means that some parts of south Louisiana will be written off as being beyond the resources of the state to be saved.
In the part of the podcast that was not part of the broadcast, Haase talks about what drew him to this work that now defines his life and our future.