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Restoration - Restoration of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Contributors: Penland, Maygarden, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation In 1998, Louisiana and its federal partners approved a coastal restoration plan entitled Coast 2050: Toward a Sustainable Coastal Louisiana. This document presented strategies jointly developed by federal, state and local interests to address Louisiana's massive coastal land loss problem. In the past, Louisiana's restoration efforts have suffered from fragmentation and lack of consensus. To address this problem, Coast 2050 involves not only representatives of state and federal governments, but also local entities, landowners, environmentalists, wetland scientists and others. Through a series of 65 public meetings common ground between ecosystem needs and public interests was found. The Coast 2050 vision is as follows: "...to sustain a coastal ecosystem that supports and protects the environment, economy and culture of southern Louisiana, and that contributes greatly to the economy and well-being of the nation."
For the first time, solutions were proposed to address fundamental ecosystem needs in order to prevent the loss of this natural treasure. By implementing the plan's regional ecosystem strategies, it is envisioned that a sustainable ecosystem will be restored in coastal Louisiana, in large part by utilizing the same natural forces that initially built the landscape. The Coast 2050 executive summary states, "The main strategies of the plan are watershed management, such as river diversions and improved drainage and watershed structural repair, such as restoration of barrier islands. In the Pontchartrain Basin near New Orleans, we must close the MRGO navigation channel as soon as possible. Also, river diversions into swamps are needed to restore natural hydrology."
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