For Immediate Release: October 30, 2008
Contact: Chris Macaluso
CPRA Chairman Garret Graves Highlights the Signing of 100-Year Flood Protection Agreement
BATON ROUGE - Today, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chairman Garret Graves announced ongoing cooperative efforts between the state and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build 100-year hurricane protection for the New Orleans area along with additional wetland restoration efforts.
Graves highlighted the signing of a $3.85 billion project partnership agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue work on the Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity (LPV) protection system, which comprises more than 120 miles of levees, floodwalls, pump stations and floodgates on the east bank of the Mississippi River.
According to the agreement, the federal government alone will provide $1.59 of the $3.85 billion. The state will pay 35 percent of the remaining $2.26 billion as its cost share for the system, which provides protection to parts of Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard Parishes.
Garret Graves also discussed the ongoing efforts to build a system of flood gates and walls on the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal designed to protect eastern areas of New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish from storm surge flooding.
The IHNC project will block storm surges from threatening area homes and businesses by using floodgates on the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) and Bayou Bienvenue as well as a floodwall that spans the area between the gates. Surges from these waterways has been blamed the inundation of eastern New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish during Hurricane Katrina.
The IHNC project is expected to cost in excess of $675 million, making it the largest fully-funded civil works design-build project in the corps' history.
"This project is absolutely essential to providing flood protection to the city of New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish," Graves said. "The floodwalls along the IHNC are the weakest link in the chain of this storm protection system. We saw them threatened again this past summer, especially during Hurricane Gustav. We will do all we can to make sure this project is built as quickly, efficiently and effectively as possible."
The state signed a project partnership agreement with the corps in April of this year to help the federal government acquire the land necessary to build the project.
Additionally, Graves highlighted five major coastal restoration projects designed to restore and build wetlands east, south and west of the New Orleans area, the bulk of which will be paid for by using state-only funds.
The projects discussed included:
• A $49 million freshwater diversion at Violet in St. Bernard Parish designed to enhance the sustainability of wetlands near Lake Borgne and the MRGO
• A $42 million project to build approximately 50,000 feet of rock breakwaters in the area bounded by the MRGO, GIWW and Lake Borgne known as the Orleans Land Bridge
• A $22 million project to build and enhance the eastern shoreline of Lake Borgne near the Biloxi Marsh.
• A $25.5 million project to dredge sediment from the Mississippi River in Plaquemines and Jefferson Parish near Bayou Dupont to create nearly 500 acres of marsh with the equipment left in place to use for future marsh creation projects.
• A more than $70 million effort to build a long-distance sediment delivery pipeline from the Mississippi River to transport sediment to build marshes and enhance natural ridges in Plaquemines, Jefferson and Lafourche Parish.
For more information, please contact CPRA Information Officer Chris Macaluso at (225) 342-3968 or by email at email@example.com.
The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority's mandate is to develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive coastal protection and restoration master plan. For the first time in Louisiana's history, this single state authority will integrate coastal restoration and hurricane protection by marshalling the expertise and resources of the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Transportation and Development, and other state agencies, to speak with one clear voice for the future of Louisiana's coast. Working with federal, state and local political subdivisions, including levee districts, the CPRA will work to establish a safe and sustainable coast that will protect our communities, the nation's critical energy infrastructure, and our bountiful natural resources for generations to come. The CPRA of Louisiana was established by Act 8 of the 1st Extraordinary Session of 2005.