March 16, 2020

Louisiana Expects to Build More Coastline in 2020 Than It Loses

Louisiana Expects to Build More Coastline in 2020 Than It Loses

In 2020, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority expects to build more to it’s coastline and coastal wetlands, ridges, and marshes than Louisiana will lose. CPRA Chairman Chip Kline said “2020 for the coastal program is going to be the year that we’ve been waiting on.” We have many large scale projects that have been studied for years ready to come off the drawing board and into the construction process, Kline added.

One of those projects includes a plan to use dredge material to nourish the marsh south of the town of Jean Lafitte. This 1,4000 acre project represents the largest marsh creation project the state has ever attempted. A large portion of the funding comes from the fines and settlements that are associated with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that occurred in 2010.

In the next few days, the $10 million project to restore 37 acres of Queen Bess Island is expected to wrap up. Queen Bess Island is an important brown pelican nesting area that was heavily affected by the oil spill and is hugely important to our coastline.

Aside from those projects, the state is going to deploy 18 dredges on a variety of other projects. This means the state will move more dirt in 2020 than in any other given year. “We will actually build more land in coastal Louisiana over the next four years than we will lose,” Kline said.

The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority projects that while Louisiana will lose around 48 miles of coast this year, the state will build 68 square miles.

It’s important to note that hurricane season can heavily affect these projections. Hurricane Katrina that occurred in 2005 wiped out 300 square miles of land in just 30 hours.  Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States on August 29, 2005. She was a category 3 rating on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, brought sustained winds of 100–140 miles per hour and stretched about 300 miles.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama were displaced from their homes, and experts estimate that Katrina caused more than $100 billion in damage.

The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is established as the single state entity with authority to articulate a clear statement of priorities and to focus development and implementation efforts to achieve comprehensive coastal protection for Louisiana.

They work with federal, state and local political subdivisions, including levee districts, to establish a safe and sustainable coastline that will protect our communities, the nation’s critical energy infrastructure and our bountiful natural resources for generations to come.

The CPRA has a multitude of coastal programs that are funded through a variety of federal and non-federal programs, each of which has different requirements, parameters and processes of implementation.

Those programs are Berm to Barrier, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP), Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA), Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS), Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Restoration, State-Only Projects, Non-State Projects.

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