Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) yesterday briefed officials from a variety of local, state, and federal agencies regarding a draft initial operations plan for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion.
A cornerstone project of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan, the sediment diversion is key to a long-term sustainable strategy to reduce land loss rates and sustain wetlands that were injured by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to CPRA.
CPRA added that this draft initial operations plan is a key component of the permitting process as it will be used to understand the project impacts, both positive and negative, including an assessment of how water levels, salinity, and wetlands may change in the Barataria Basin.
The State of Louisiana’s proposed Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion is intended to achieve the greatest possible wetland restoration results while minimizing other effects on Mississippi River and Barataria Basin resources.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers serves as the lead federal permitting agency for the project in accordance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899. GEC, Inc. was selected as the contractor to conduct the third party Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project in coordination with the USACE.
Public Scoping meetings, anticipated to take place this summer, are a critical part of the EIS process and will allow citizens and stakeholders to provide feedback to the USACE on the proposed Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion and the draft initial operations plan, concluded CPRA.