A majority of likely Louisiana voters—56%—call the loss of the state’s coastal wetlands a “crisis,” according to a new poll the National Audubon Society commissioned on behalf of Restore the Mississippi River Delta, a coalition of local and national conservation organizations advocating for coastal restoration.
Another 37% of Louisiana voters say they believe more attention needs to be paid to the loss of the state’s coastal wetlands. Residents living in southeast Louisiana were more likely—at 61%—to consider coastal wetland loss a crisis, as opposed to just half of north Louisiana residents surveyed.
The poll, released today, follows the unveiling of a draft version of the state’s 2017 Coastal Master Plan, which predicts that Louisiana could lose 2,250 square miles of coastal lands over the next 50 years if no action is taken. The state is legally required to update the plan every five years, a news release says, adding that the plan serves as a blueprint for large-scale preservation and restoration projects.
The state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority will host public meetings throughout Louisiana to raise awareness and get feedback on the draft plan. But according to the news release, at least 62% of those polled viewed the state’s current plan favorably and 6% opposed it. The remaining 32% had no opinion whatsoever.
The poll was conducted from Dec. 12 to 15 by Baton Rouge-based Applied Technology Research Corp. Some 500 likely Louisiana voters were surveyed via telephone. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.