Every little bit helps. Building land in Southeast Louisiana is needed to replace what we are losing. Three small projects will help.
Three major restoration projects to build more than 2,900 acres of marsh, coastal ridges and barrier island beaches and dunes have started construction in southeast Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday. They are designed to:
Restore key features of West Grand Terre Island in Jefferson Parish
Build a more than 7-mile line of wetlands and coastal ridge along Spanish Pass, near Venice in Plaquemines Parish
Restore wetlands in the Golden Triangle area along northwest Lake Borgne in New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish.
“They will combat erosion, subsidence and saltwater intrusion, and create nearly 5 square miles of land” in some of the most valuable and vulnerable locations along the state’s coastline, Edwards said during a news conference on Coastal Day at the Legislature. The projects are funded by $256.6 million in fines and natural resource compensation payments by BP and its drilling partners in the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. The state has completed dozens of restoration projects that have restored thousands of acres of coastal land and built several miles of new hurricane levees since the last Coastal Day at the Legislature in 2019, said Chip Kline, chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.nola.com
During this time, 90% of the agencies budget was used for building and maintaining project where before the money was spent on planning, engineering and design. This is a continuation of that new thought. Kline asked the senate to restore $58 million to the construction funds through HB 2, the main budget bill. The money had been cut from the budget cutting several dozen restoration and levee projects. Short sided thought! Kline also noted the Governor’s Climate Initiative Task Force and the Governors decision to join 24 other states in the US Climate Alliance.
The task force’s goal, Kline said, is “to look at proposals for how we are going to reduce Louisiana’s greenhouse gas emissions so that we are no longer just reacting to the impacts of climate change but we’re also addressing the causes of climate change.” By joining the climate alliance, Edwards renewed his 2020 commitment to emission reduction goals set by the Paris Climate Accords, including cutting Louisiana’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025 and reaching a “net zero” level of climate emissions from 2005 levels by 2050.
The largest project is Spanish Pass in Barataria Bay creating 1,500 acres of marsh and 132 acres of higher ridge lines.
The Golden Triangle Project will restore 800 acres of wetlands to the Lake Borgne Barrier flood wall.
The West Grand Terre Project will add 2.9 million cubic yards of dredged material to rebuild 530 acres of beach, dune and back barrier marshes.
Coupled with the Mid-Barataria Diversion, someday we may make up our daily land loss or at least slow the loss down.