ANNUAL PLAN PROCESS
The Annual Plan Process was developed in accordance with Act 606 of the 2008 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature. It requires that all of the Atchafalaya Basin Program’s water management, access, and recreation projects be identified on an annual basis.
Water manangement projects have an especially rigorous selection process. Each is initiated with a nomination from the public. Nominations must be submitted via official form and received by the ABP by May 31.
Next, each nomination is considered by a panel of experts, the technical advisory group (TAG). If the TAG considers a nominated project to be viable and beneficial, it is presented to the Research and Promotion Board (RPB), which consists of the heads of several state agencies or their designees. All approved nominations for a given year make up the annual plan. A draft of the annual plan is presented at public meetings, and public comments are incorporated into the plan. After a final review by the RPB, the plan is brought before the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) to ensure that it is consistent with the coastal master plan. All meetings are open to the public and include an opportunity for public comment. Finally, the plan is presented to the state legislature for approval before it goes into effect.
Nominations close May 31.
The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meets in July to consider and vote on project nominations.
The Research and Promotion Board (RPB) meets shortly after the TAG to consider and vote on project nominations.
By September, a draft of the annual plan is prepared by the Atchafalaya Basin Program (ABP) that consists of projects nominated by the public and approved by both the TAG and RPB.
ABP provides copies of the draft annual plan to members of the RPB.
The RPB meets to recommend changes and approve the draft annual plan.
In late October or early November, the ABP holds three public meetings to provide a venue for public review.
After the public meetings, comments are incorporated into the annual plan, and the RPB meets to vote on any changes that arise from public review.
Next the draft plan is presented to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) at their regular monthly board meeting to ensure that it is consistent with the coastal master plan. At the following CPRA meeting, the board recommends changes and approves the ABP annual plan.
Once approved by CPRA, the RPB meets a final time to approve the final version of the annual plan.
Copies of the annual plan are then provided by the ABP to members of the Louisiana State Legislature.
A resolution is filed by a legislator to approve the ABP annual plan.
The ABP presents the annual plan in the assigned committee (typically the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee and the Senate Natural Resources Committee), and the public has another opportunity to provide input at committee meetings.
The resolution is then forwarded to the House of Representatives and the Senate and must be passed by both bodies before it goes into effect.
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