coastal restoration

Travis Lux / WWNO

For decades, oil and gas companies dug canals through Louisiana's marshes looking for oil and building pipelines.

Those canals are one of the big causes of coastal land loss. Now a handful of parishes are suing the oil and gas companies over that damage.

It seems like filling the canals back in with soil would be a good way to fix the damage, but that's not part of the state's new Coastal Master Plan.

Travis Lux / WWNO

The state has a coastal master plan to stave off land loss and each parish has it’s own plans for the coast.

 

In Terrebonne Parish, officials are looking for public buy-in. Earlier this week they invited people to the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center for Coastal Day -- a science fair of sorts displaying all the coastal projects in their backyard.

 

The Data Center

Louisiana spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year to restore and protect the coastline with big earth-moving projects, like building marshes and barrier islands.

 

The state hires professional contractors to bring in their backhoes, dozers, dredges and workboats to do the job. It’s big business. But a new report says not enough of that money is staying in the state. And with billions of dollars coming from the BP settlement, some see that as a problem.

 

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council

Much of the money the state plans to get through the BP oil spill settlement will go toward big construction projects -- building barrier islands and levees.

 

Some of that money is reserved for coastal research projects, and the first projects have been announced.

 

One of the big ways the scientific research gets done on the coast is through specific projects. The state or the feds have money for a project -- like a barrier island -- and they might ask scientists to look into something for them.

Beardo62 / Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

The Louisiana oil and gas industry in Louisiana is asking President Trump not to take coastal restoration money away from the state.

 

The funding issue at hand is the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA).

 

Oil and gas companies have to pay for leases if they want to drill in the Gulf of Mexico. The federal government makes money from those leases. GOMESA is a law that requires the government share some of that money with the states on the gulf coast -- including Louisiana.

Delayed Restoration Project Breaks Ground

May 16, 2017
Travis Lux / WWNO

The Army Corps will use sand and silt from the bottom of the Mississippi River to build new marshes. The restoration project has been delayed for several years, but is set to break ground next month.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Louisiana spends heavily on building wetlands and levees to protect its eroding coast. Over the next three years, the state plans to put nearly $300 million into land-building alone. But as the true picture of sea level rise comes into view, officials may need to explore a less popular option: retreat from the coast.


Verdin family

Every five years, the state revamps its master plan to restore coastal Louisiana. This year, they’re hosting community meetings in coastal areas to tell people about master plan updates for 2017.

The Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority’s master plan is in the process of being updated, which happens every five years. The new plan includes “non structural” projects – like elevation, flood proofing, and even relocating people. In order to get local input, CPRA officials are hosting a series of community conversations along the coast.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

With oil prices down, Louisiana has lost about 12,000 jobs in oil and gas since last year. Some of those oil and gas workers are finding new jobs in coastal restoration. That includes helping rebuild a chain of barrier islands to protect the coast. One of those state-funded projects is in Plaquemines Parish.

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