About 130 people attended our Coastal Conservation Conversation event Wednesday night to hear experts discuss the challenges of funding the state’s 50-year, $50 billion coastal rebuilding plan.
On the panel:
- Mark Davis, Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy
- John Driscoll, Corporate Planning Resources
- Kyle Graham, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
- Douglas J. Meffert, Audubon Louisiana/National Audubon Society
- Steve Murchie, Gulf Restoration Network
- Courtney Taylor, Environmental Defense Fund
Fox 8 News’ John Snell moderated.
Here are some highlights. The full video is at the end.
Graham: Oil and gas will pay for the coast, somehow
“I think it’s very difficult to see a future” without some kind of settlement with the oil and gas industry, Graham said.
Davis: Mitigation ‘is not a restoration strategy’
Davis said local government must stimulate private investment by being smart about how they build homes and roads and how they manage subsidence.
Graham lays out state’s plan to fund projects
Graham started off by explaining how much the state is spending to rebuild the coast and where the money is coming from — largely penalties and other payments from the BP oil spill.
Davis: We’ll have another chance to rebuild this city
When Snell asked why we should expect leaders to make hard decisions about coastal restoration when the city of New Orleans didn’t do so after Hurricane Katrina, Davis brought some nervous laughter with his answer: The city will “get another chance” to rebuild properly.