coastal restoration

Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries

Dr. Robert Twilley, LSU Oceanic Studies professor and director of the Louisiana Sea Grant program, it’s time to rethink the premises upon which Louisiana is basing its coastal restoration projects.

"I doubt those marsh creations are going to have more than a 20-year lifecycle without modifying the way we manage the river," he told members of the Governor’s Coastal Advisory Commission Tuesday.

courtesy: CPRA

"“This is going to be the most money we’ve spent, right?" asked state Senator Norby Chabert of Houma.

"Yes, sir," CPRA executive director Mike Ellis replied, with a smile.

"The most money spent, in the history of this state, on construction," Chabert added, for emphasis.

"You are correct," Ellis confirmed.

For many, Louisiana’s environmental concerns start at the coast. Certainly, all four of the main gubernatorial candidates agree it’s a crucial issue.

“For our very survival, one of those key challenges is protecting and restoring and stabilizing the coast,” David Vitter says.

Jay Dardenne goes further.

“There is no greater threat to Louisiana than the loss of our coastline. It affects Shreveport and Chicago as much as it does Chackbay and other places along the coast.”

“It threatens many things that are special about Louisiana, including our fisheries, our wildlife, tourism, oil and gas,” John Bel Edwards elaborates.

From Sea to Shining Marsh

Sep 11, 2015
Nick Janzen

Down by the toe of Louisiana’s boot, Bayou Grand Liard used to be surrounded by solid land.

“I’ve talked to people whose fathers and grandfathers used to come out here and hunt rabbits. Now you see it’s all open water,” says Chuck Perrodin, a spokesman for the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

To fix that, the CPRA is in the middle of a marsh creation project at Bayou Grand Liard. “We’re taking what used to be land and marsh, went back into open water, now we have made it back into land,” Perrodin says.

courtesy Louisiana Architects Association

A gubernatorial forum on coastal issues, put on by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, was held Tuesday evening at Nicholls State University. It had all four of the major candidates in agreement on the importance of working to avert Louisiana’s land loss.

Ann Marie Awad

The Atchafalaya Basin is a wedge of wetlands that stretches south to the Gulf of Mexico between the Atchafalaya and Mississippi Rivers. At a million-plus acres, it's America's largest freshwater swamp--and it's long been at risk. But with a new land purchase, The Nature Conservancy will experiment with fixes to those problems.

Louisiana’s congressional delegation — most notably former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu — has fought for coastal restoration funding for years. And it’s just about to pay off big.

“In November of 2017, approximately $170-million is to be made available to the state — $140-million of which comes to the CPRA,” explains Kyle Graham, with Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. The source of the funds is a federal program known as GOMESA.

Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition

What to do with all the billions in Clean Water Act fines to be paid by BP and its contractors for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?

Officially, it’s up to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, made up of governors from the five affected states and heads of several federal agencies, to decide.

A coalition of environmental groups has come up with their own ideas for how the first millions can best be spent to restore the coast.

U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise qualified for the 1st congressional district race Thursday, seeking his 4th term representing the New Orleans area. The state’s first congress member to hold the leadership post since Hale Boggs in 1971, Scalise says he’s now positioned to do more in Washington for his home state.

This spring a state committee approved $477 million for coastal protection and restoration. When you throw in federal dollars, and private funding as well, fixing Louisiana's coast is becoming big business.

Here are some of the people who stand to benefit.