Governor John Bel Edwards along with local lawmakers begin a two-day tour today where they’ll fly over the Louisiana coast and then visit offshore oil and gas facilities. State Rep. Jerome Zeringue of Houma will be with the governor and says trip’s primary purpose is to help the oil and gas industry and coastal restoration co-exist.

“Highlight the significance of what our working coast is all about, the oil and gas industry. Just as important, it’s about how vulnerable we are and how important it is to address these issues of coastal land loss.”

Gov. Edwards issued a statement saying our coast is disappearing at an alarming rate, but we can’t ignore the important role offshore energy plays with the state’s economy. Zeringue says Edwards is very adamant that the funding reserved for coastal restoration will be used for that purpose.

“Every dollar that’s intended to restore and protect our coast, we need to ensure it actually goes to that purpose. The governor indicated his support for restoring and protecting out coast and we can make some significant headway.”

There will also be an offshore energy industry roundtable in Port Fourchon. Zeringue says this will provide the industry a chance to talk with Governor Edwards about how important oil and gas is to the economy in coastal parishes. He says this sector is not only important to this region but the entire country.

“A significant amount of dollars that go to the GDP of this nation are generated off the coast of Louisiana. We need to do what we can to support the industry.”