Governor Jindal applauds investment of more than $360M in coastal restoration, hurricane protection projects

BATON ROUGE, LA, June 29, 2009 -- Governor Bobby Jindal applauded the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority's approval of coastal restoration and hurricane protection projects throughout Louisiana using surplus funding dedicated during this year's legislative session...

BATON ROUGE, LA, June 29, 2009 -- Today, Governor Bobby Jindal applauded the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority's (CPRA) approval of $290 million in coastal restoration and hurricane protection projects throughout Louisiana using surplus funding dedicated during this year's legislative session -- in addition to $78 million in federal funds for coastal restoration and hurricane protection projects.

Governor Jindal said, "This investment of more than $360 million represents our commitment to restoring Louisiana's coasts and making sure we have critical hurricane protection barriers in place for future storms, and allows us to make tremendous progress in implementing our state's coastal master plan. With the state surplus funding we committed this session, we now have more than $1.5 billion in state, federal and local dollars dedicated to protection and restoration projects in the next four years, not including funds used by the Corps of Engineers on flood protection in the New Orleans area."

The majority of the funds CPRA approved today from state surplus dollars -- a total of $193.3 million -- is committed to purchasing property right of ways needed for the ongoing construction of the hurricane protection system being built in the southeast Louisiana area by the Army Corps of Engineers. This dedication of funds by the state will leverage more than $15 billion in federal funds committed to the hurricane protection system project there.

CPRA also approved investments today using state surplus dollars for major hurricane protection systems outside the New Orleans area, including $7.7 million directed to the Morganza to the Gulf levee system being built to protect Terrebonne Parish and parts of Lafourche Parish. Additionally, CPRA approved another $7.7 million of state surplus funds for building levees to provide better protection to the town of Lafitte in lower Jefferson Parish.

CPRA approved nearly $25 million in state surplus funds that will be invested in coastal restoration and hurricane protection projects in south central and southwest Louisiana, including nearly $12 million for improvements to Cameron-Creole levee in Cameron Parish and nearly $4 million for flood protection in the Morgan City area.

CPRA also approved $14.5 million in state surplus dollars to advance nine coastal restoration projects being built with state and federal funds through the Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA). Additionally, $3.4 million in state surplus dollars will be directed to the restoration of barrier islands and $13.5 million in state surplus funds will be used as emergency reserve funds for project adjustments and to acquire emergency flood fighting equipment.

The Louisiana Recovery (LRA) allocated $50 million to the CPRA to improve flood protection in South Louisiana using funds from FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). The LRA also dedicated $28 million to the CPRA through the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program for coastal restoration and hurricane protection efforts.

The HMGP funds totaling $50 million that was previously announced will be dedicated to more than 20 projects across South Louisiana to advance the state's coastal sustainability efforts through FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. The final allocation of HMGP requires FEMA approval. CPRA is also currently working with the Louisiana Recovery Authority and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to allocate the $28 million in CDBG funds that was previously announced.

Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chairman Garret Graves said, "In just 18 months, the number of active coastal restoration and hurricane protection projects grew from roughly 40 to more than 250 today. This additional funding commitment again shows the tremendous commitment by Governor Jindal and our state legislature to restoring, rebuilding and protecting our coast."

The complete list of projects CPRA approved today to receive state surplus dollars, include:

• $193.3 million: New Orleans Area Hurricane Protection System
• $22.7 million: federally authorized hurricane protection systems: Morganza to the Gulf, Lafitte Hurricane Protection, Larose to Golden Meadow, Donaldsonville to the Gulf, North Shore Hurricane Protection
• $24.7 million: South Central/Southwest Louisiana: Cameron/Creole levee, Four-Mile Canal storm surge reduction and ecosystem restoration, Morgan City/St. Mary flood protection, Delcambre-Avery Canal engineering and design, Alexandria to the Gulf, South Central Coastal Plan
• $14.5 million: Construction of CWPPRA Projects including: Pass Chaland to Grand Bayou Pass Barrier Shoreline Restoration, Dedicated Dredging on Barataria Landbridge, Pecan Island and Pass La Mer to Chaland Pass Restoration, South Shore of the Pen Shoreline Protection and Marsh Creation, Lake Hermitage Marsh Creation, South Lake Decade Freshwater Introduction, North Lake Mechant Landbridge Restoration, Whiskey Island Back Barrier Marsh Creation, East Marsh Island Marsh Creation.
• $13.5 million: Emergency Reserve Funding
• $6.3 million: Beneficial Use of Dredged Materials and Beneficial Use of Concrete from I-10 Twin Spans Demolition
• $3.4 million: Barrier Island Maintenance
• $3.4 million: Restoration and Conservation Partnerships
• $1.5 million: Atchafalaya Basin Natural Resources Inventory and Assessment
• $1.9 million: Rehabilitation and Repair of State Restoration Projects
• $4.8 million: University Partnerships and Innovative Science and Engineering Programs and the Louisiana Coastal Area Study

The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority's mandate is to develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive coastal protection and restoration master plan. For the first time in Louisiana's history, this single state authority will integrate coastal restoration and hurricane protection by marshalling the expertise and resources of the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Transportation and Development, and other state agencies, to speak with one clear voice for the future of Louisiana's coast. Working with federal, state and local political subdivisions, including levee districts, the CPRA will work to establish a safe and sustainable coast that will protect our communities, the nation's critical energy infrastructure, and our bountiful natural resources for generations to come. The CPRA of Louisiana was established by Act 8 of the 1st Extraordinary Session of 2005.

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