On February 17, 2021, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) released a draft version of the agency’s annual spending plan for Fiscal Year 2022, which runs from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022.
The Integrated Ecosystem Restoration & Hurricane Protection in Coastal Louisiana: Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Plan anticipates investing $887 million in Louisiana’s coast with 71% of that amount going directly to constructing projects.
“In spite of the many challenges we’ve all faced over the past year, CPRA pressed on and remained steadfast in our commitment to advance projects and fortify our working coast,” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline.
“Projects kept moving forward and we are able to deliver an annual plan for FY 22 where we anticipate having five massive projects under construction at once. As our coastal program moves forward, we will continue to see these highly-anticipated projects come to life,” he added.
Key takeaways from the Draft Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Plan include:
- 90% of total expenditures will go toward project implementation and maintenance;
- 110 active projects: 66 in construction totaling $633 million; 37 in engineering and design totaling $97.7 million; $10.4 million for seven projects in planning;
- 9 active projects in Southwest Louisiana, 35 in South Central Louisiana, and 66 in Southeast Louisiana; and
- 19 dredging projects are slated for construction, using more than 92.4 million cubic yards of dredged material to create or nourish nearly 15,000 acres of coastal wetlands.
“We have never wavered in our commitment to dredging as a major tool in our restoration and protection efforts,” said CPRA Executive Director Bren Haase. “We’ll have more dredging projects underway in the upcoming fiscal year than ever before in our history.”
Major projects advancing in FY 2022:
- Barataria Basin Ridge and Marsh Creation – Spanish Pass Increment — Dredging 16 million cubic yards of material from the Mississippi River to build 1,670 acres of marsh and ridge, the largest marsh creation project built in the Barataria Basin by both acres built and volume dredged;
- Bayou Chene Floodgate — Completing construction and installation of a permanent floodgate across Bayou Chene to reduce backwater flooding in St. Mary Parish and portions of five other parishes, alleviating the repeated need and expense of sinking temporary barges during storm emergencies;
- Houma Navigation Canal Lock Complex — The largest public works project in Terrebonne Parish history, this integrated restoration and hurricane protection project will distribute much needed fresh water to surrounding marshes and serve as a key feature in the Morganza to the Gulf hurricane protection system;
- Lake Borgne Marsh Creation – Increment One — Reestablishing the bay rim and approximately 2,816 acres of intertidal marsh habitat near Shell Beach in St. Bernard Parish;
- River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp — Building a gated channel to divert needed fresh water and nutrients from the Mississippi River into the Maurepas Swamp to revitalize and restore 45,000 acres of coastal swamp forest;
- Terrebonne Basin Barrier Island and Beach Nourishment — Using approximately nine million cubic yards of sand dredged from the Gulf of Mexico to create and restore more than 1,000 acres of beach, dune, and marsh habitat on portions of Trinity-East Island, Timbalier Island, and the West Belle Pass Headland on the southern perimeter of the Terrebonne Basin; and
- West Shore Lake Pontchartrain — A hurricane and storm damage risk reduction levee spanning 18.5 miles across St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. James Parishes.
Photo of Louisiana crayfish via Pixabay.