The state is beginning $4.5 million dollar project to revamp Cypremort Point State Park.
Hurricane Gustav wiped out floating security barriers which washed out many of the park’s features and eroded the coast.
Organizers say installing a $1.3 million dollar water break project is the first step to making the state park attractive to tourists again.
“All over the country, don’t go to Louisiana. The coast is all messed up. If you go down there, you can’t go to the beaches, you can’t go to the campgrounds, you can’t go to the sites. So, we went for the better part of three years where tourism just went down,” explained Representative Sam Jones.
The new rock barriers are 75 feet long and crews will install seventeen of them, with 50-foot gaps between each one.
FEMA is covering 90% of the cost with the state chipping in the rest.
“When this shore washes out, it costs a lot of money to replace it and put things back in place. So, FEMA comes in and says ok we’re gonna mitigate that, and the mitigation method is by – we’ll put these rocks out here which makes the waves not as devastating to the shoreline,” said Assistant Secretary & Director of Louisiana State Parks and Historical Areas, Gene Reynolds.
Although Cypremort Point wasn’t directly affected by the 2010 oil spill, the disaster hurt the park’s tourism.
That’s why the state is using some of the funds from the BP settlement to revamp the area.
“We went from having a park that was basically breaking even which is the minimum goal, to having deficits of two to three hundred thousand dollars just to keep the park open,” said Representative Jones.
Now, park leaders are looking forward to attracting tourists back to Cypremort Point State Park.
“Once we’re able to retain that beach, you’re gonna be able to have beach volleyball, have your picnics, hang out under the pavilions, and just have a great time. You know we’re gonna be putting in a fishing pier on each end, be able to go fishing, so it’s gonna be a wonderful place. Come rent a cabin and stay the weekend,” said Director of Operations and Facilities of Louisiana State Parks, Clifford Melius.
Reynolds says there are five parks along the I-10 corridor that have been selected to get a total of $16 million dollars in NRDA – State Parks Capital Projects funding.