Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority unanimously approved a plan that aims to provide hurricane storm surge protection and coastal restoration for the state. The plan, if all aspects of it are implemented, will take 50 years to complete and coast the state $50 billion, according to the Times-Picayune. The next step is for it to be voted on by the Louisiana Legislature.
* According to the 2012 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan, this plan is a revised version of the original plan that was drafted in 2007.
* The objectives of the plan are to reduce economic losses from the constant flooding of the coastline; to promote a sustainable ecosystem; to provide habitats that will be able to sustain recreational and commercial activities; and to maintain the cultural heritage of the coast.
* Projects proposed in the plan include building levees for highly populated areas.
* The plan also proposes to restore barrier islands, marshes and ridges which will help to prevent flooding.
* Along the coastal area of New Orleans, sediment and water will be used from the Mississippi River to rebuild land.
* An estimated 545 to 859 square miles will be built because of the projects that will be implemented.
* This rebuilding of land will help to offset the land loss that naturally happens annually because of storms.
* If the plan isn't implemented, the estimated cost of damage from flooding annually would be $7.7 billion to $23.4 billion over the next 50 years.
* The restoration project will protect the environment but the freshwater being diverted into saltwater estuaries might ruin the shrimping business for some fisherman, according to the Los Angeles Times.
* Many are hoping the plan is expanded to protect all areas in the state that are at a risk for flooding, as Sen. Mary Landrieu noted St. Charles Parish and parts of three other parishes will still be at risk under it.
* Landrieu is hoping for more funding to do protect these areas as well, according to the Huffington Post.
* The restoration project has been being debated for several months and a permanent floodgate on Bayou Chene and a marsh restoration project were announced as being added to the plan on Wednesday, according to the Tri-Parish Times.
* It is supposed to be funded by some of the $100 million the state gets annually from their oil and gas revenues, as well as from federal restoration programs.
* A senate bill was also passed last week which will ensure that 80 percent of the fines that BP has to pay for the BP oil spill will be used for coastal restoration as well, according to McClatchy Newspapers.
Lauren Finnegan graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a bachelor's degree in political science and has an insider's perspective on the military because of her role as a military wife who has lived around the country.