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Coastal Wetland Planning, Protection and Restoration Act
In the lifetime of a child born today, approximately 800,000 acres of Louisiana wetlands will be lost, shrinking its coastline by 33 miles inland in some areas. We are also losing critical fisheries and wildlife habitat. NOAA works through the Coastal Wetland Planning, Protection and Restoration Act to restore Louisiana’s coastal habitat, which is the state’s first line of defense during storms, reducing the devastating effects of wind, waves, and flooding.
We fund and implement large-scale restoration projects to ensure healthy and sustainable coastal habitat for Louisiana’s fisheries. These projects are significant at the local and national scale for their role in improving marine fisheries and their ability to protect communities and vital oil and gas infrastructure from storm damage.
Coastal Wetland Planning, Protection and Restoration Act at a Glance
NOAA works to preserve Louisiana’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats by:
- Slowing the high rate of wetlands loss in Louisiana.
- Developing and utilizing the latest techniques in restoration.
- Fostering partnerships with federal and state agencies, landowners and industry.
- Incorporating a regionally-based approach to ecosystem restoration.
Engaging Diverse Coastal Communities
Through the Coastal Wetland Planning, Protection and Restoration Act, NOAA continues to engage and empower people and communities around solutions that reduce wetland loss and jump-start investments in the local economy. NOAA and its federal and state partnerships have proven critical to the success of restoration projects. NOAA has awarded funding for 23 projects that benefit more than 130,000 acres of wetlands and have construction budgets totaling nearly $204 million.
Making a Natural Investment in Our Economy
NOAA is keenly aware of the value of wetlands and their vital link to fisheries. Louisiana ranks second only to Alaska in total pounds of commercial fish and shellfish landed, accounting for roughly 75 percent of the Gulf of Mexico landings, about 28 percent of the total volume of U.S. fisheries with a value of approximately $1 billion annually. The catch is comparable to that of the entire Atlantic seaboard and triples that of the remaining Gulf States. More than 50,000 people are engaged in wetland dependent fisheries. The annual shrimp and oyster harvests supply 35 to 40 percent of the nation's needs.