Two projects have been awarded $215 million in an effort that will restore more than 4,600 acres of wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats in Louisiana.
As part of the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group’s (LA TIG) Final Phase 2 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #1.2, the Spanish Pass Ridge and Marsh Creation Project and the Lake Borgne Marsh Creation Project represent another step forward in the continued restoration of Louisiana’s coastal ecosystems that were damaged as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
“This is the fifth major restoration plan announcement this year by the LA TIG and I’d like to applaud the Louisiana Trustees for their swift approvals on these major restoration projects,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards in a statement. “Spanish Pass and Lake Borgne are two major components of the ambitious and historic dredging plan that will be implemented by CPRA over the next three years. We look forward to beginning construction activities on these projects early next year.”
Lake Borgne, located near Shell Beach in St. Bernard Parish, is part of an overall large-scale restoration strategy for the Pontchartrain Basin that will reestablish the bay rim and intertidal marsh habitat, according to the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board (CPRA). Under the LA TIG plan, the project is receiving $114.7 million in funding for engineering and design, construction, operations and maintenance, and monitoring and adaptive management for the creation of an estimated 2,816 acres of restored marsh habitat.
Meanwhile, Spanish Pass, located near Venice in Plaquemines Parish, will consist of creation and nourishment of approximately 132 acres of historic ridge and nearly 1,700 acres of marsh. The $100.3 million in LA TIG funding will support construction, engineering and design, operations and maintenance, and monitoring and adaptive management. This project is also a component of an overall large-scale restoration strategy for the Barataria Basin to reestablish ridge and intertidal marsh habitats degraded due to sea level rise, land subsidence, diminished sediment supply, and storm events, according to CPRA.
"Today’s funding announcement by the LA TIG means two record-breaking restoration projects will be going to construction in coastal Louisiana,” said Chip Kline, chairman of the CPRA in a statement. “With an anticipated dredging volume of more than 16 million cubic yards, Spanish Pass will be the largest dredging project by volume that CPRA has ever bid. And at more than 2,800 acres, Lake Borgne will be the largest project by acreage ever bid by CPRA.”