CPRA

Creating Land at the Edge of Louisiana

23 hours ago
Nick Janzen

  In Bayou Grand Liard, down by the toe of Louisiana’s boot, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is creating marsh. Chuck Perrodin, a spokesman for CPRA, sums up what’s going on: “We’re taking what used to be land and marsh, went back into open water, and now we have made it back into land.”

Creating land where there’s open water seems like an impossible task, but the basic idea is remarkably simple—fill in the water with lots of sand. Finding that sand, and transporting it, is the hard part.

EPA

Louisiana’s share of the $18.7 billion BP settlement is of intense interest to the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. But director Chip Kline told the board Wednesday that most details are remain under wraps.

“Some of us are still under a confidentiality agreement as this thing plays out, so there’s only so much that we can discuss,” Kline explained, by way of apologizing for not being more forthcoming.

CPRA staffer Alyson Graugnard was able to give a timeline of the next steps, now than an agreement-in-principle has been reached.

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.

Taxpayers may be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars if the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East has to withdraw its lawsuit against oil and gas companies.

SLFPA-E met opposition from the legislature’s Joint Transportation Committee Wednesday, as the committee gathered information from the authority on the suit, also hearing opposing testimony from Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority head Garret Graves.

Army Corps of Engineers

State plans to restore the coastline are trying to mimic the way the Mississippi built the coast. Thousands of years ago the river dumped sediment from the plains upriver into the marsh. But some fishermen are worried the plans will displace the saltwater fish they catch to make a living.

Fishermen voiced their opposition at a community meeting in St. Bernard Monday.

US Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee meets Thursday to discuss reforms to the Army Corps of Engineers.

One of Louisiana’s senators, David Vitter, now sits as the ranking minority member of the committee.

Vitter saif the Corps has a history of putting projects on the back burner because of cost and bureaucratic entanglements.

“Important projects take twenty years or more, deadlines are almost never met,” Vitter said. “It’s just one paper shuffle after another.”