The 109th Congress may consider legislation that
authorizes activities to counter the widespread conversion of lands (mostly wetlands) to open water
in coastal Louisiana. In its final report on restoring the coastal Louisiana ecosystem, released
January 25, 2005, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) recommends congressional
authorization of specific projects and general programs to both slow the process of conversion and
reestablish land at some converted sites. The Corps estimates that this entire package of
recommended activities would cost a total of $1,996 million. Included in this package are
recommendations for immediate authorization ($1,123 million), further authorized investigation
($145 million), and projects that could be authorized in the future ($728 million). This CRS short
report is limited to a summary of this Corps report and the next steps in implementation. It will be
updated if Congress enacts implementing legislation. For general background on the causes of land
loss, the social and economic costs that result from land loss, and earlier programs and proposals to
respond to it, see CRS Report RL32673(pdf), Coastal Louisiana: Attempting to Restore an Ecosystem.
To follow the likely legislative process, see CRS Issue Brief IB10133, Water Resources Development
Act (WRDA): Army Corps of Engineers Authorization Issues in the 109th Congress.