On December 16, 2019, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) selected five Louisiana-based organizations to award a total of $1 million in matching funds for projects addressing coastal conservation and restoration. The projects will be funded this fiscal year.
Since 2008, CPRA has awarded $10.3 million to match $12.9 million provided by non-profits, businesses, land owners, and local governments, totaling more than $23 million for 31 projects previously awarded under this program.
“The CPRA Conservation and Restoration Partnership Fund is one of the mechanisms we use to foster public/private partnership opportunities,” said CPRA Board Chairman Chip Kline. “This program is part of our continual effort to identify every means available to expedite implementation of high-priority projects and advancement of our coastal restoration goals.”
CPRA received 21 proposals following its public solicitation earlier this year. The five selected were based on the amount of acreage restored or conserved, synergy of the projects with other conservation and restoration efforts, feasibility of construction, matching funds and in-kind contributions, and project consistency with the objectives of the 2017 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan.
This year, CPRA’s matching portion represents 43% of the total cost of the selected projects.
The organizations and projects selected include:
Ducks Unlimited – Island Road Terraces Phase II
To construct 24,000 linear feet of earthen terraces in Terrebonne Parish’s fragmented marsh south of Island Road and west of the Morganza to the Gulf Hurricane Protection Levee, thereby enhancing 375 acres of brackish marsh. Total funding: $1.029 million ($300,000 CPRA Partnership Fund and $727,200 Ducks Unlimited).
Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation – East Bank Swamp Restoration and Community Resilience
To plant 2,500 trees near the Hurricane Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) in St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes. This will restore 12 acres of swamp, augment natural wetland buffers adjacent to these levees, and enhance community resilience. Total funding: $90,000 ($40,000 CPRA Partnership Fund and $50,000 LPBF).
Sankofa Community Development Corporation – Sankofa Wetland Park and Nature Trail
To convert 40 acres into a bald cypress-water tupelo habitat and community nature area adjacent to the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. Residents will be involved in the planning and development of the park, including removal of invasive plants and restoration with native flora, installation of drainage features, placement of educational signage, and construction of play spaces. Total funding: $539,500 ($279,500 CPRA Partnership Fund and $260,000 Sankofa).
The Nature Conservancy – Calcasieu Lake and Sabine National Wildlife Refuge Oyster Reef Restoration Project Phase II
This is a continuation of a previously awarded Partnership Fund project in Cameron Parish. It will restore one mile of oyster reef in the West Cove of Calcasieu Lake adjacent to the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge. This oyster reef restoration and shoreline protection project will protect 237 acres of adjacent coastal salt marsh. Total funding: $981,000 ($350,000 CPRA Partnership Fund and $631,000 The Nature Conservancy).
United Houma Nation – Indian Schoolhouse Trail Restoration
To restore and enhance approximately one acre of United Houma Nation land in Terrebonne Parish adjacent to Bayou Terrebonne by conserving native plants, removing invasive plant species, planting seasonal food gardens, constructing walking trails, and installing stickball poles. The United Houma Nation Montegut School Community Center (formerly the Montegut Indian School) is located on the property. Total funding: $61,016 ($30,500 CPRA Partnership Fund and $30,516 United Houma Nation).
Rendering of the Sankofa Wetland Park and Nature Trail courtesy of the Sankofa CDC.