For Immediate Release: Feb. 24, 2010
Contact: Chris Macaluso
*****Please Note, this press release was originally released by the Louisiana Governor's Office and is also published on www.gov.louisiana.gov*****
Governor Jindal Announces Nearly $20 Million Investment in Lafourche Hurricane Protection System
GALLIANO - Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced the signing of a partnership agreement between the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and the South Lafourche Levee District that will dedicate $19.8 million in state surplus funds to make significant improvements to Lafourche Parish's hurricane protection system. Governor Jindal emphasized that this partnership agreement will build on his administration's record investment in coastal restoration and hurricane protection efforts.
Governor Jindal said, "The signing of this partnership agreement continues to demonstrate the unprecedented commitment the state has made to hurricane protection and coastal restoration efforts in the last two years. This system has protected communities from flooding during past storms, but that doesn't simply mean we can pat ourselves on the back and take this levee system for granted. We must continue to be vigilant and make improvements to the structures that protect our homes and our livelihoods. This nearly $20 million investment shows our commitment to continue to move forward aggressively to restore our coastal wetlands and barrier islands and build better levee protection for our communities."
In total, the state has made a record allocation of nearly $1.7 billion in coastal restoration and hurricane and flood protection projects since Governor Jindal entered office. With the restoration projects underway today resulting from state investments, the state is projected to have the lowest rate of land loss since the 1930's and the highest percentage of citizens living and working behind hurricane protection projects.
Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chairman Garret Graves said, "Thanks to the tremendous dedication of efforts and funding made by Governor Jindal and our Legislature over the past two years, we are now able to build the kinds of projects and provide the necessary funds to match the federal efforts that are providing the kind of hurricane protection our coastal communities desperately need. In 2009, some of the largest coastal restoration and hurricane protection projects in our state's history were built. In 2010, we will do even more."
The partnership agreement will allow the South Lafourche Levee District to make major improvements to the protection system, including elevating Highway 1 next to the Leon Theriot Lock complex from 12 to 15 feet, additional armoring and overtopping protection near pump stations, and the raising of levee heights throughout the system. The system has protected communities like Golden Meadow, Galliano, Larose and areas above from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike.
The Governor emphasized that today's announcement is a perfect example of state and local leaders not waiting for the federal government to act when it comes to protecting the coast.
Governor Jindal said, "We don't have time for the bureaucracies of Washington D.C. and the Corps of Engineers to study our levees and wetlands for years on end while we watch them wash away. Protecting our coastal communities-throughout our entire coast-has been a top priority of my administration, the Legislature and our local coastal leaders and it will continue to be so with or without the help of the federal government.
"This levee system in South Lafourche was authorized by Congress in 1965. Yet, without the work completed by the local levee district and now with money from the state, this levee system would stand unfinished into the foreseeable future."
As a result of the increased commitment in funds, Louisiana coastal officials are expecting to spend more than $500 million in state and federal dollars on restoration projects in 2010 alone, which is more than ten times the amount spent just three years ago. From 2010 through 2013, state coastal planners estimate $1.5 billion in additional funding will be invested in coastal restoration and hurricane protection in the state.
Governor Jindal also highlighted a number of additional coastal restoration and hurricane protection projects that have recently been completed or are currently underway in the Lafourche Parish area.
In the past year in the Barataria Basin area, the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) program rebuilt a barrier island at Pass Chaland, about 15 miles East of Grand Isle. CWPPRA also finished a project last March that built more than 35,000 feet of shoreline along Bayou Perot in the northern part of the Barataria Basin in an area that was losing 100 feet or more of shoreline every year.
A complete renovation is currently underway of East Grand Terre Island in the Barataria Basin, where nearly three linear miles of beach, 620 acres of beach and dunes and 450 acres of marsh are being built with $31 million dollars.
A total of $35 million in Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) funds have also been committed to constructing the elevated portion of Highway 1 from the newly-completed Leeville Bridge all the way to Fourchon.
In the upcoming year, the Barataria Basin will see the completion of the largest coastal restoration project in state history - the Dedicated Dredging on the Barataria Landbridge, which is combining $16 million in CWPPRA funds with $18 million in CIAP funds to restore an estimated 2000 acres of deteriorating marsh on the north end of Little Lake.
The state will also begin a $33 million CWPPRA project later this year that will rebuild an estimated 3,300 feet of beach and dunes west of Belle Pass, between the pass and East Timbalier Island.
If you need additional information, please call Chris Macaluso in The Governor's Office of Coastal Activities at (225) 342-3968 or 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 marshaling the expertise and resources of the Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration 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.