A poll shows near-unanimous support for coastal restoration efforts, strong majority support for sediment diversion projects, and majority support for taxes dedicated to funding the projects.
The survey was commissioned by Restore the Mississippi Delta and shows 96 percent of Louisianans want lawmakers to prioritize addressing coastal land loss. Pollster Bernie Pinsonat says it’s a remarkable level of support that you just don’t see for nearly any other state issue.
“When you are in the 90s, political parties, race, age, men, women, all of those we see support across the board.”
77 percent of respondents believe coastal erosion will impact them within the next ten years.
Authorities believe diverting large amounts of sediment from the Mississippi River into the wetlands will stem the tide. The poll shows 55 percent of Louisianans are familiar with that concept, and pollster Greg Rigamer says people seem to understand just how important it is.
“Even when presented with possible trade-offs like short-term impacts to fisheries from sediment diversions, 71 percent support diversions to help build new land.”
Rigamer adds that support for sediment diversion is even above 60 percent in coastal parishes whose fishing industries would be impacted.
63 percent said they would support a state tax dedicated to coastal restoration projects. Pinsonat says 2/3rds support for a tax is a crucial number for a Legislature that is notoriously anti-tax.
“This project is reaching numbers across the board that shows there is enough political support for asking for money from taxpayers.”
Support levels varied from region to region, with only 49 percent of north Louisianans supporting a coastal restoration tax.