Louisiana to spend $1 billion on these coastal restoration, hurricane protection projects

Louisiana will spend almost $1 billion on coastal restoration and hurricane protection in the fiscal year that begins July 1, including 18 projects using dredged sediment to rebuild almost 14,000 acres of wetlands, marsh and ridge, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Wednesday.

The money also will pay for another 109 miles of new or improved hurricane levees protecting coastal populations across the state, the start of construction on the new Houma Navigation Canal lock and completion of the Bayou Chene flood control structure, Edwards told the online State of the Coast conference. 

Opening the three-day biennial event, Edwards said 16 state agencies have undertaken a vulnerability assessment to address how Louisiana’s rapidly eroding coastline will affect the government’s ability to serve the public. Overseen by chief resilience officer Charles Sutcliffe, the two-year effort requires the agencies to explain how wetlands loss and climate change will affect their assets, including buildings, property, equipment and other infrastructure, as well as their direct and indirect effects on services.

The report is to address both acute effects of hurricanes and floods and chronic challenges of rising seas and salinity changes.

“Working together, we can achieve a more resilient, prosperous, equitable and sustainable state,” Edwards said. 

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Five coastal restoration projects in fiscal 2022 are aimed at reversing the effects of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, a navigation shortcut between the Gulf of Mexico and the Industrial Canal in New Orleans. It opened in 1965 and was ordered closed by Congress in 2009 because of its lack of use and its environmental disruption of wetlands east of the river.

All five projects have either… Continue Reading Full Story >>>

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