For Immediate Release: June 30, 2009
Contact: Chris Macaluso
***PLEASE NOTE: The following press release was originally posted on Governor Bobby Jindal's website www.gov.louisiana.gov June 30***
Governor Jindal Announces $7 Million in Federal Funds For Coastal Restoration Projects
BATON ROUGE - Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced a commitment of more than $7 million in federal stimulus funds for coastal restoration efforts in Plaquemines and Jefferson Parishes. The funds were provided by a grant program through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
NOAA approved the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority's (CPRA) proposal for $3.025 million for the Mississippi River Sediment Delivery System at Bayou Dupont. The project was originally designed to build nearly 500 acres of marsh by pumping sediment from the Mississippi River for five miles via pipeline to a marsh restoration site in the Barataria Basin southeast of the town of Lafitte. The additional $3.025 million will allow the project to expand by more than 50 acres.
Governor Jindal said, "These funds will enable us to expand a groundbreaking coastal restoration project to restore over 550 acres of marsh. This project is a critical step towards using more dredged material from our own soil - and it represents our understanding of the importance of beneficially using this sediment to rebuild our coasts."
The Bayou Dupont Project breaks new ground for coastal restoration in Louisiana because it is the first time sediments from the Mississippi River have been transported through a pipeline to build wetlands outside the river's levees.
The stimulus funds will be added to the $28.3 million in state and federal funds from the Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) already committed to the project.
In total, the pipeline will now transport approximately 3 million cubic yards of sediment from the Mississippi River to complete the project. After all the material is transported, native vegetation will be planted on the new marsh. A portion of the pipeline infrastructure will remain in place after the project is complete so that it can be used again to build future projects. The area of the river where the sediments will be dredged was picked specifically because it will fill up with sediments again.
NOAA also approved $4 million for the Nature Conservancy, a project that will build more than five acres of bioengineered oyster reefs to protect vulnerable shorelines in the Grand Isle area and in parts of St. Bernard Parish.
These projects are designed to provide four miles of shoreline protection in areas of rapid erosion. This project will utilize protection structures to buffer these fragile coastal areas from wave action while improving fish habitat and water quality.
Dr. Keith Ouchley, State Director of the Nature Conservancy said, "We are very excited about this project being one of two Louisiana projects selected by NOAA for American Relief and Recovery Act funding. We believe that our oyster reef restoration and shoreline stabilization projects will help to protect our coastal resources and contribute to the state's economy."
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.