- A local coastal management program can serve as a centralized information hub or cross-roads, helping coordinate local implementation of the resource management programs of the many state and federal agencies who may not always put local concerns first. Establishing a local program office provides a logical point of contact to be included on mailing lists for agency announcements of public meetings and proposed project comment periods.
- Through regular meetings of a parish coastal management advisory board, local coastal programs provide a forum for local folks who know the area best to speak out on what should be priority issues for local natural resource conservation, and to speak out on what local economic considerations should be appreciated and weighed in the balance as well.
- State and federal law says that there will be management and regulation of coastal resource use by some governmental body. Establishing a local coastal program reasserts an increased level of local control over activities and uses that would typically be regarded as uses of local concern, but would fall to state oversight in the absence of a local coastal management program. Examples of these issues include camps, private docks, bulkheads, cattle walks, land fills, subdivisions, maintenance of most private canals, etc. With more direct involvement by the local coastal management program, local maintenance and development permit applications can be reviewed and processed in a more direct and timely manner. This is especially important with the newly emerging Programmatic General Permit (PGP).
- Establishing a local coastal management program demonstrates that the parish is serious about taking an active role in participating in the decision-making that shapes coastal management policy in not only that parish, but for all of coastal Louisiana. As as example, with the recent Coast 2050 Initiative, Local Coastal Program administrators were among the first local officials looked to for expertise and guidance regarding local coastal resource management priorities.
- Local coastal programs can help facilitate communications regarding access to funds for resource management, such as:
- Coastal Resource Enhancement Grants -- 306A (local permit fee application revenue)
- Clean Water Act 319 funds
- Hardship Grants Program for Rural Communities (wastewater treatment)
- ISTEA funds
- Clean Vessel Act funds
- Wallop-Breaux money
- CWPPRA projects, large and small, including Christmas tree placement mitigation money
- USDA Wetland Reserve Program, EQIP, WHIP, and Small Watersheds Program
- Public/private partnerships such as American Greenways and Restore Our Southern Rivers
Excerpt from Louisiana Administrative Code, Title 43, Section 725
A. Letter of Intent.
Parishes intending to apply for grants to prepare a local coastal management program (LCMP) shall notify the secretary of LDNR by sending a letter of intent approved by the parish Police Jury or Council.
B. Program Development
The process for developing a local program will consist of a number of tasks leading to development of a local program document which will include necessary components pertaining to an up to date characterization of coastal resource management issues in the parish.
C. Program Content
Local programs may be submitted for approval after being developed in accordance with Subsection B and shall consist of multiple components that characterize conditions in the parish, and reflect the commitment of the local government offices to the administration of such a program.
D. Program Approval
Local programs may be submitted for approval after promulgation of these rules and the state guidelines, many of which pertain to the ensuring of adequate opportunity for public review and input. Fifteen copies of the complete proposed local program shall be submitted to the secretary of LDNR. The local government shall have additional copies available for distribution upon request. The secretary shall, within fifteen days of the filing of a complete program give public notice of the submittal of the proposed local program.
G. Funding of Local Programs
All funds provided to local governments by the department for program implementation shall be subject to specific guidelines. Any state or federal funds provided to local governments for implementation of approved local program shall be by contract with LDNR. Any such financial assistance shall be subject to these specific rules and any applicable federal requirements. Such financial assistance shall be on a matching fund basis, with a share provided through the federal grant to the State of Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, and the remainder generated at the local level.
For a more complete description of the process and requirements for developing a local coastal program refer to Rules and Regulations.