For Immediate Release: February 13, 2009
Contact: Chris Macaluso
***PLEASE NOTE: The following press release was originally posted on Governor Bobby Jindal's website www.gov.louisiana.gov February 13***
Governor Jindal Announces Agreement For Largest State-Local Beneficial Use Of Dredge Material To Rebuild Wetlands In Southwest Louisiana
LAKE CHARLES - Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced that the state, the Port of Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish signed an agreement to begin the largest state-local beneficial use of dredge material project in Louisiana to rebuild wetlands in Southwest Louisiana. The state is dedicating nearly $20 million from the Coastal Protection and Restoration Fund to projects that will build an estimated 670 acres of marsh in Southwest Louisiana using sediment dredged from the Calcasieu Ship Channel.
Governor Jindal said, "Today we are taking another critical step to rebuild our coast and protect our people and our infrastructure. This river sediment is the same material that built our river delta and our state. It's a vital resource that could reduce the rate of loss in our state. Using this dredge material is one of the fastest and most economical ways to restore our coastal wetlands."
In 2008, Congress passed an emergency appropriations bill that included $49 million to dredge the Calcasieu River to ensure access to the Port of Lake Charles. Under the agreement signed today, instead of disposing the material removed from the river in the Gulf of Mexico, it will be used to create approximately 440 acres in the Black Lake Marsh and 227 acres of marsh on the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge for a total of 670 acres of marsh.
The state is allocating approximately $15.5 million - including Surplus funds from 2007 and 2008 and Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) funds - for the Black Lake Marsh Project. The second site is in the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge where 227 acres will be created using $3.8 million in only state dollars from the 2007 surplus.
"The commitment of these funds is part of an overall effort by the state Louisiana to complete projects across our coast that will use sediments taken out of our rivers, channels and canals to rebuild our coastal marshes," said Coastal Protection and Restoration Chairman Garret Graves. "The sediments removed from our rivers and channels are the greatest resource we have to rebuild land in this state and it's time to start using them wisely rather than dumping them in deep waters off our coast where they do no good."
With today's announcement of nearly $20 million for coastal restoration efforts, the state now has almost $200 million in ongoing coastal restoration and protection projects in Southwest Louisiana.
For more information about Louisiana's ongoing coastal restoration and hurricane protection 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.