On January 15, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it had recently awarded over $1,611,426 to the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority for a project that would restore 392 acres of marsh land in southwest Louisiana.
This shallow-area restoration project will reuse dredged material from the Calcasieu Ship Channel.
“This investment is a win both for coastal restoration efforts and for dredging,” said Rep. Clay Higgins (LA-03). “My office has long advocated for dredging spoils to be used as part of marsh creation and restoration projects. Pairing those endeavors solves two problems at once and benefits Louisiana with a stronger, more resilient coast.”
This project is funded through the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA). EPA’s CWPPRA team regularly works with federal, state, and local partners to develop, design and build coastal projects in Louisiana, similar to this project. Since 1990, EPA has sponsored the engineering, design and construction of eleven projects benefiting almost 12,000 acres of restored or protected wetlands, marshes, headlands and barrier islands.
“This project is a good example of our partnership with Louisiana, achieving meaningful environmental benefits for American communities,” said Ken McQueen, EPA Regional Administrator. “Protecting and restoring the southern coast helps prevent flooding from storms and benefits wetland habitats.”
CWPPRA was the first major federal program to fund Louisiana coastal wetlands restoration projects. The program is managed by a Task Force comprising the state of Louisiana and five federal agencies: EPA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. EPA regularly assists state, tribal and local government agencies in building programs that protect, manage, and restore wetlands and aquatic resources.
Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is the single state entity with authority to develop, articulate, implement, and enforce a comprehensive coastal Master Plan of unified vision, to reduce tropical storm surge flood impact, to restore natural resources, to build land to protect critical energy infrastructure, and to secure Louisiana’s coast now and for future generations.