April 20, 2017 03:46 PM

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Agency

Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency for Louisiana's coast, saying he hopes to draw national attention to coastal land loss.

The Democratic governor issued the emergency proclamation Wednesday.

His office said the proclamation will be sent to President Donald Trump and members of Congress, trying to raise the profile of the state's erosion troubles as it seeks federal assistance to speed up restoration projects.

In a statement, Edwards described the Louisiana coast as "in a state of crisis that demands immediate and urgent action to avert further damage to one of our most vital resources."

The emergency proclamation lasts until May 17.