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Congressional Summit 2017 (pdf format)

SW Louisiana Coastal Summit: MISSION STATEMENT

The Chenier Plain of Louisiana, encompassing Calcasieu, Cameron, and Vermilion Parishes, is home to a unique culture that is intimately tied to the landscape. Since the earliest settlements, the people of the Chenier Plain have thrived on the bounty of the land through fishing, hunting, farming, and ranching. The transition of the Chenier Plain region from a land based economy to a growing oil, gas, and chemical industry has occurred rapidly over the last 100 years, yet the culture of the people remains deeply rooted in its historic past. Risks to the Chenier Plain region are significant and include coastal erosion, saltwater intrusion, and flood damages. Given the area’s low, flat terrain in close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, the region is at risk due to flooding from tidal surges and waves associated with tropical storms and extreme weather events. Land subsidence, combined with rising sea level, is expected to increase the potential for coastal flooding, shoreline erosion, saltwater intrusion, and loss of wetland and chenier habitats in the future.

Restoration and protection of the marshes and cheniers of the Chenier Plain protects the people, supports the economy, and preserves the unique environment and culture of the region. This is the mission of the Chenier Plain Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority (Chenier Plain Authority). The Chenier Plain Authority represents the Southwest Coastal Parishes (Calcasieu, Cameron, & Vermilion) in Louisiana in an effort to:

  1. Build the capacity of the region to establish, construct, operate, and maintain flood control and coastal restoration projects, ensuring that the region thrives
  2. Educate the public and raise awareness for the need for coastal restoration and protection
  3. Maximize opportunities for coastal restoration and protection in collaboration with federal, state,parishes, drainage boards, private industries, and non-profit organizations by obtaining and ensuring the efficient use of funding
  4. Centralize the decision making and operation of water control structures in the region to improve themanagement of saltwater intrusion, optimize drainage during severe weather events, and enhance the ecosystem to improve wildlife and fisheries

The Authority was established as a political subdivision of the State of Louisiana in 2010 in response to the growing need for coordinated and consolidated communication and action amongst local, state, and federal agencies in regards to coastal restoration and protection efforts. The primary duty of the Authority’s Board of
Commissioners is to establish, construct, operate, or maintain flood control works as they relate to hurricane protection, tidewater flooding, saltwater intrusion, and conservation, and a secondary duty to establish floodcontrol, adequate drainage relating to tidal or riverine flooding, and water resources development including but
not limited to construction of reservoirs, diversion canals, gravity and pump drainage systems, erosion controlmeasures, and marsh management, and is authorized to enter into contracts and agreements. We have a unique opportunity with over $135B worth of anticipated LNG growth in the region, as well as the historical $3.3B Southwest Coastal Study being passed in the 2016 Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act and going to Appropriations in 2018, to work with industry, governmental entities, and local communities in concert to preserve and enhance as well as restore and protect our marshes and cheniers. Restoring and protecting the Chenier Plain will not only preserve the ecosystem that supports an abundant wildlife habitat, but will also support an economy that is of vital importance to the State of Louisiana and the nation.

An integral part of the Authority’s mission is to educate residents, stakeholders, and political figures of the unique characteristics and issues faced by southwest coastal Louisiana. Therefore, we are planning an educational summit for late summer/fall 2017 and intend to invite our congressional and local representatives to our region so we can; (1) show the specific features which identify the uniqueness of the region as a natural resource and as a cultural and economic treasure; (2) educate on the gravity of the coastal situation which threatens marshes and cheniers; and, (3) facilitate understanding of the opportunity to preserve what we have.

  • Summit Information [PDF] and Mission Statement [PDF]
  • Support the Congressional Summit 2017 - please add "Chenier Plain Fund - Congressional Summit 2017" in the notes section of your donation. Sponsorship information [PDF]
  • Itinerary [PDF] TBA
  • Site locations - see Itinerary above
  • Registration Forms - please contact Angela Love, S&ME at by March 17, 2017
  • Speakers - see Itinerary above