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First-of-its-kind study estimates impact of coastal restoration

The study focuses on the good that can come from investing in the coast.
NEW ORLEANS —A first-of-its-kind study released Thursday offers estimates on the impact of investing in hurricane protection and coastal restoration.

Ryan said people usually focus on the negatives, namely the loss of thousands of square miles of land along the Louisiana coast.

"What I tried to do was turn that around," said Ryan. "I'm tired of looking at the negative, let's look at the positive."

The study looked at the potential outcome of $50 billion or $100 billion invested over a 50-year period. The numbers come from the Louisiana "Master Plan" that the state legislature passed in 2012. The plan called for $50 billion but "recommended" $100 billion in investment.

The study estimates $50 billion in investment would create 109,360 jobs and $100 billion would create 212,684 jobs.

"If we can rebuild our coast, if we can rebuild our hurricane protection system, we can make this economy strong and vibrant again," said Ryan.

According to Louisiana's Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, the state has lost 1,880 square miles of land over the past 80 years. The rate at which land is lost is expected to increase over the next 50 years.
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