Louisiana’s wetlands problem is the country’s wetlands problem, according to Karen Gautreaux, chair of the state’s wetlands restoration panel and executive assistant to Gov. Mike Foster (R). Speaking before the Louisiana House and Senate Natural Resources committees, Gautreaux said the state’s coastline can never be returned to its original condition and can only be restored to a maintainable level with $14 billion in federal aid. Without that aid, Louisiana lacks the money even to publicize the problem, let alone to solve it. Gautreaux said the feds should pony up the bucks because the wetlands devastation in the state can be traced back to national policy decisions on how to control the flooding of the Mississippi River and on how to aid oil and gas industry projects in the region. In calling on the federal departments of Energy and Transportation, Gautreaux said, “No one other state would be asked to bear this burden.”
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