First Round of Louisiana’s RESTORE Act Grants

Enhancing sediment retention of diversions and improving flood risk assessment are just two of thirteen research projects recently funded through the first round of Louisiana’s RESTORE Act Center of Excellence grant process.

Announced June 22, the two-year grants fund projects that directly relate to the implementation of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan.

The Louisiana Coastal Master Plan is nationally and internationally renowned for its incorporation of the best available science,” said Justin R. Ehrenwerth, President and CEO of The Water Institute of the Gulf and Director of the Center of Excellence for Louisiana. “The Water Institute is honored to serve as the State’s RESTORE Act Center of Excellence and to support some of the most talented researchers across the State to help further advance our ability to protect and restore our coast.

The Center of Excellence received 61 proposals for the research and collaborative awards with a total request of about $20 million. Two collaborative and five research projects were selected as well as six graduate studentship projects with the approximately $3 million available during this funding cycle.

The establishment of the Center of Excellence affords Louisiana a significant opportunity to encourage research that will accelerate the scientific progress relevant to Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan, and this first round of grant-making is an important step in making that a reality,” said CPRA Executive Director Michael Ellis.

To select the projects, the Center of Excellence coordinated an external peer-review process where three experts from within Louisiana and from around the country evaluated each proposal.

Representatives from the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana also evaluated how well each proposal applied to advancing the Coastal Master Plan work and then there was an additional review by an expert external board.