For more than 20 years now, we’ve been hearing about how Louisiana is losing a football field of coastline every 30 minutes or so.
Although progress has been made addressing this very real problem, climate change has continued to make the situation more dire, as temperatures increase and storms become more frequent and intense.
What exactly is the status of Louisiana’s efforts to protect and rebuild its coastline? Where are we in the battle against mother nature?
To get a readout on how close we are in Louisiana to slip-sliding away into the Gulf of Mexico, we turn to Chip Kline. Chip is Executive Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Affairs, and board chair of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, the state agency in charge of saving the Louisiana coastline, which is no small task.
In 2023 the CPRA will oversee some $1.35 billion in coastal projects – the largest amount ever in the more than-decade-long history of the state’s coastal program. Those projects include things like sediment diversions, rebuilding marshland, the construction of flood protection structures and water management efforts.
Chip has served as chair of the CPRA board since 2018, where he has overseen policy initiatives. He also manages the day-to-day operations of the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities, which means he is responsible for integrating the functions of all state agencies as they relate to coastal protection and he has been integral in advancing the objectives of the State’s Coastal Master Plan in Louisiana and Washington, D.C. which means he has to be well versed on technical and engineering topics while also comfortable navigating the often choppy political waters of Baton Rouge and DC.
Kodi Guillory is President of Sustainable Design Solutions, a Baton Rouge based civil engineering specializing in water treatment plant design, wastewater treatment systems, water quality, coastal restoration permitting, marsh creation design and shoreline protection design.
Water and preventing us sliding into the water is a booming field to be in these days in south Louisiana, and Kodi is one of the area’s leading experts. She spent nearly seven years on the staff of the CPRA as an engineering supervisor, where she designed and implemented many of the agency’s projects before going out on her own in 2019 to create sustainable design solutions.
Out to Lunch is recorded live over lunch at Mansurs on the Boulevard. Photos by Erik Otts. at itsbatonroug.la. And check out more conversation about Baton Rouge’s love/hate relationship with water and our never-ending (hopefully) struggle with water.