For Immediate Release: January 15, 2009
Officials to sign agreement to fund remaining interior drainage improvements for Orleans, Jefferson
WHAT: Federal, state and local officials will gather to sign the overarching Project Partnership Agreement for the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Damage Reduction Project (SELA). The agreement will pave the way for construction of $1.3 billion of flood control work in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.
WHO: The Honorable John Paul Woodley, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works; Garret Graves, Director of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA); the Honorable C. Ray Nagin, Mayor of the City of New Orleans; and Karen Durham-Aguilera, P.E., SES, Director, Task Force Hope, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
WHEN: Friday, January 16, 2009, 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Sewerage & Water Board Pump Station #6, 345 Orpheum St., New Orleans.
BACKGROUND: The purpose of SELA is to reduce damages due to rainfall flooding in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes. Improvements support the parishes' master drainage plans and generally provide flood protection on a level associated with a 10-year rainfall event, while also reducing damages for larger events. SELA was authorized by Fiscal 1996 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act and the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1996, after severe flooding in May 1995 illustrated the need for drastic improvements to drainage systems in the greater New Orleans region.
In Jefferson Parish, 41 contracts have been awarded to date, with 33 completed. In Orleans Parish, 10 contracts have been awarded, with eight having been completed.
Of work authorized and approved under SELA, 23 contracts remain to be awarded-12 in Jefferson Parish and 11 in Orleans Parish. The CPRA reached agreements with both the Sewage and Water Board of New Orleans and the Jefferson Parish Council to serve as a facilitator between the parish entities and the Corps of Engineers in advance of signing the partnership agreement, which will cover the remaining work.
For more information about the CPRA and Louisiana's ongoing coastal protection and wetland restoration efforts, please contact 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.