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Coastal Programs

CPRA projects are authorized and funded through a variety of federal and non-federal programs, each of which has different requirements, parameters and processes of implementation. Below are summaries of coastal programs utilized for CPRA projects.

Berm to Barrier

During the oil spill crisis in 2010, a significant amount of sand was pumped along the withering barrier island chain to form berms to block oil threatening our marshes. CPRA is taking advantage of that foundation of sand to build more-substantial and sustainable barrier islands that can serve as our first line of defense against storm surge and ecosystem degradation.

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

Following Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008, the federal government provided $27.4 million to Louisiana for coastal protection and restoration projects to help communities recover from the storms and prepare to better withstand future hurricanes. The CDBG funds from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) went to the La. Office of Community Development’s Disaster Recovery Unit which has partnered with CPRA and local interests across the coast to identify potential flood protection projects such as levee construction or improvements, floodgate installation, critical infrastructure, and shoreline protection.

Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP)

CIAP is a federally-funded program to assist states that have supported or been impacted by oil and gas exploration and development along the outer continental shelf. This includes Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Alaska and California, along with their individual coastal parishes or counties. CIAP is sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and was funded with royalty money set aside from offshore oil and gas leases in federal waters during the years 2007-2010. The funds are intended for the conservation, protection and preservation of coastal areas, including wetlands. CIAP funds can be expended as State-only projects, parish-only projects, or as shared State/parish projects.

Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA)

Authorized by Congress in 1990, CWPPRA was the first major federal program to fund Louisiana coastal wetlands restoration projects. CWPPRA is managed by a Task Force comprised of the State of Louisiana and five federal agencies: the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Project submissions are evaluated and ranked on the basis of cost effectiveness, longevity, risk, supporting partnerships, public support, and conformity with CWPPRA goals. From this ranked list, the Task Force annually selects a final list of projects, the Priority Project List, for implementation.

CWPPRA projects are funded on a cost sharing basis: 85 percent federal, 15 percent state.

Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS)

Following the failure of the federal levees, floodwalls and other protective measures in the greater New Orleans metro area in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Congress authorized a massive overhaul and upgrade to the system. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has labeled this the HSDRRS, and has subdivided it into four projects (comprised of multiple segments) for management purposes:

  • West Bank and Vicinity (WBV)
  • Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity (LPV)
  • Inner Harbor Navigational Canal Lake Borgne Surge Barrier
  • Inner Harbor Navigational Canal Seabrook Complex

The HSDRRS also covers multiple restoration projects as mitigation for wetland impacts associated with the project construction.

As the non-federal sponsor (along with local levee authorities and levee districts), the State has contributed to the WBV and LPV projects through plans and specifications review, construction inspection assistance, project and program management, and payment of costs associated with LERRDS (land, easements, rights-of-way, relocation, and disposal areas).

Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)

WRDA refers to the set of federal laws enacted by Congress to address various aspects of water resources including the environment, navigation, flood protection and hydrologic issues. The latest Congressional action was the WRDA 2007 authorization (though a new WRDA proposal is currently before Congress). The 2007 act called for funding of feasibility studies for these Louisiana projects:

  • Amite River Diversion Canal Modification
  • Convey Atchafalaya River Water to Northern Terrebonne Marshes and Multipurpose Operation of the Houma Navigation Lock
  • Small Diversion at Convent/Blind River
  • Terrebonne Basin Barrier Shoreline Restoration
  • Medium Diversion at White Ditch

Oil Spill Restoration

Although the timing and amount of funds related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have not been fully determined, preliminary oil spill restoration planning is underway. With an understanding that the use of restoration funds will be guided by specific criteria, Louisiana is committed to maximiaing its investment in oil spill recovery activities by implementing restoration projects that are consistent with the Coastal Master Plan to the extent possible.

State-Only Projects

In the years 2007, 2008 and 2009, the Louisiana Legislature allocated $790 million in State surplus funds for use in coastal protection and restoration activities. This includes both cost-sharing in other federal programs as well as the implementation of projects without a federal partner. Broadly speaking, these projects generally fit into one of the following categories:

  • Expedited construction of components of federal protection projects
  • Coordination on federal-only projects
  • Feasibility studies for flood protection in areas not currently covered by the existing federal protection network
  • Protection and restoration projects not included in one of the other coastal programs to be implemented in conjunction with local parishes
  • Augmented design or construction of projects in other coastal programs

Non-State Projects

Every fiscal year the CPRA must submit to the Louisiana Legislature its annual plan for ecosystem restoration and hurricane protection in coastal Louisiana. Since 2008, this report has included more than just CPRA projects and programs; it also includes federal-only projects, parish projects, levee district projects, and those privately-funded wetland enhancements and activities that require a Coastal Use Permit. CPRA has designated these as “Non-State Projects.”