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EPA Issues Biennial Review of Louisiana Coastal Wetlands Conservation Plan

Release Date: 5/24/2005
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a
four-page report on Louisiana's activities under the 2002-2003
Louisiana Coastal Wetlands Conservation Plan. The report is required
under the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act.
EPA commends Governor Blanco and the Louisiana Department of Natural
Resources for their collaboration with landowners and other groups to
help protect and restore coastal resources.

“Saving Louisiana’s coast is one of our highest priorities,” said
Richard Greene, EPA’s Regional Administrator. “Together with our
partners, we are hard at work completing ongoing projects and
beginning new ones to restore, improve and protect this valuable
treasure. We look forward to the success of these efforts being
highlighted in the next report.”

The Conservation Plan is a vital part of the broader state and
federal efforts to protect and restore Louisiana's coastal wetlands
and barrier islands. On Earth Day 2005, President Bush announced that
approximately 832,000 acres of wetlands have been preserved in the
first year of his five-year commitment to create, improve and protect
at least three million wetland acres.

EPA recommends several actions in the report, including:

Expedited use of remaining mitigation funds
Review of existing mitigation projects
Continued support of development of marsh mitigation banks
Accurate assessment of actual cost of compensatory mitigation
Ensuring consistency between coastal restoration and development
Consideration of ways to promote environmentally appropriate tourism

A copy of the report is available at