FY 2016 Annual Plan Approved by Legislature
The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Plan has been approved by the Louisiana Legislature, providing $884 million in expenditures for coastal protection and restoration projects in fiscal year 2016, an increase of approximately $159 million over the year prior.
The plan allocates $588 million for construction (67% of total spending) for several large projects, including $147 million for the Caminada Headland Beach and Dune Restoration project below Port Fourchon, and $104 million for the combined Mississippi River Long Distance Sediment Pipeline and Bayou Dupont Phase Two marsh creation projects. The plan also provides for the mobilization of construction funds for two barrier island projects in the Phase III Early NRDA Louisiana Outer Coast Restoration: Caillou Lake Headlands, and Shell Island West, projects estimated at $111 million and $101 million respectively. By adopting the plan, the Louisiana legislature approves funding for these projects and for all other aspects of the coastal program, including five projects in the planning phase, 33 projects in the design phase and 46 projects that will begin or continue construction in FY 2016.
In 2007, the Louisiana Legislature adopted the first Coastal Master Plan. The plan presented a conceptual vision of a sustainable coast and established the goals and objectives that continue to drive the restoration and protection efforts of our coastal program. Since then, more resources have been invested in coastal protection and restoration in Louisiana and more progress has been made than in any other period in our state’s history. The key to success has been twofold – persistent improvement of our ability to get dollars on the ground quickly and efficiently to effect change and continued development of our foundation – the science, the tools, and the people that support this critical work.
“Since the first Coastal Master Plan was adopted in 2007, as well as the subsequent annual plans, the CPRA has implemented larger, more complex, and more impactful projects than ever before” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline. “Working with local, state, and federal partners, the CPRA has constructed over 45 miles of barrier islands and berms, benefitted more than 25,700 acres of coastal habitat, and built or improved approximately 250 miles of levee, affording protection to coastal communities and restoring important habitats for fish and wildlife. The passage of the 2016 Annual Plan represents a critical step forward in continuing to implement these efforts.”
Before it was submitted to the legislature, the Annual Plan was submitted to the public for discussion and comment during open meetings in Houma, Lake Charles and New Orleans, and was available for review online and through distributed printed copies. Comments and suggestions received at these public meetings and through written submissions were incorporated into the final plan which was approved by the CPRA Board for submission to the legislature. The plan was approved by both the House and Senate Transportation and Natural Resources committees, and ultimately by both houses of the legislature.