The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has signed an agreement with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana to design hurricane and storm damage risk reduction features in Calcasieu, Cameron and Vermilion parishes as part of the Southwest Coastal Louisiana project.
The agreement was signed by The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District Commander Col. Michael Clancy and Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana Board Chairman Chip Kline on Friday.
“We first partnered with the Corps back in 2009 to start the Southwest Coastal Feasibility Study and in 2016 we finally got a Chief’s Report. Today is another step forward,” Kline said. “While what we are kicking off today with this signing ceremony is only a tiny portion of this $3.3 billion project it is more significant than that because it represents the first time we have been able to attach funding to one of the nonstructural projects in the Coastal Master Plan.”
The Southwest Coastal Louisiana project was authorized by Congress in 2016 to provide non-structural hurricane and storm damage risk reduction measures in the 4,700-square-mile study area located in southwest Louisiana.
The project, according to officials, includes approximately $900 million for flood risk management by implementing non-structural strategies to include: flood-proofing, voluntary structural elevation and localized risk reduction features such as berms.
The design agreement initiates an approximately $1.2 million effort to develop and finalize the implementation plan for the risk management elements of the project. Funding for the design work is provided through a 65-percent federal, 35-percent state cost share.
“Southwest Louisiana has seen tremendous economic development over these past few years and is poised for even more,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “This makes it all the more important that the State and the Corps can work together to also advance important projects that will help reduce flood risk to people and businesses living and working in that region.”
The Southwest Coastal Louisiana project includes a $2 billion National Ecosystem Restoration plan to reduce land loss and coastal erosion in the study area through nine marsh restoration projects, five shoreline protection/stabilization projects and 35 Chenier reforestation projects.
Funding to initiate the ecosystem restoration component of the project has not yet been received, according to a release.