Coast Builders Coalition in conjunction with Restore the Mississippi River Delta has released a new analysis prepared by the Water Institute of the Gulf that outlines opportunities for the state of Louisiana to achieve substantial cost savings as it advances its 50-year, $50-billion Coastal Master Plan.
The analysis, “Changing Restoration Costs,” examines the opportunities that exist for the state to achieve substantial cost savings, particularly related to marsh creation projects over time.
Marsh creation, as a category, represents the single largest category of restoration costs in the state’s Coastal Master Plan.
The analysis focuses on large marsh creation projects using dredged material where cost savings opportunities are significant. At roughly $18 billion, these projects represent the largest category of spending of any restoration project type in the master plan.
To consider how these project costs might change over time, the Institute examined seven distinct, 2,000-acre locations across coastal Louisiana with similar baseline conditions and applied five different scenarios of subsidence and sea level rise over time.
Using 2012 master plan cost analysis and borrow areas, the study estimated costs needed to fill these locations and then converted to 2015 costs before applying 1 percent and 2 percent annual rates of inflation over 10-year increments.