Last night, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) Executive Director, Michael Ellis, presented the Draft Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Plan at a public hearing in Belle Chasse, Louisiana.
Southeastern Coastal parish residents and governing authorities were in attendance at the meeting, which is the first of three public hearings scheduled in Louisiana’s coastal zones.
“The annual plan is not a budget document – We do not have these dollars in the bank,” stated Ellis. “This document is the mechanism by which CPRA requests authorization to allocate and spend revenues, if and when we get them.”
In Fiscal Year 2019 (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019) CPRA’s annual plan outlines $562 million in total expenditures. “With annual settlement payments from Deepwater Horizon and the beginning of Phase II GOMESA payments, Louisiana’s coastal program is really ramping up,” said Ellis.
In FY19, $215 million is slated to come to the state in DWH settlement dollars, and $60-$70 million is expected from GOMESA. Ellis detailed that in FY19, 86% of total expenditures will be project-associated costs, and in FY20 and FY21, project-associated costs will be 90% of total expenditures of $931 million and $876 million respectively. “Louisiana’s Coastal Program – CPRA – is implementing the largest ecosystem restoration program in the world,” Ellis stated.
Ellis also presented projected expenditures for FY19 by project phase: two projects scheduled in Planning, $10.4 million; 34 projects scheduled for Engineering and Design, $137 million which paves the way for a $4.9 billion total project investment; 23 projects (10 protection : 13 restoration) scheduled to be in construction, $282 million to benefit 8,861 acres of wetland and improve 97.5 miles of levee; and 136 project costs for OM&M, $54 million for the operation and maintenance of 136 projects and for monitoring 105 projects.
A public hearing is also scheduled on Tuesday, January 9th at Houma Terrebonne Civic Center and on January 10th at Lake Charles Civic Center, 5:30 open house and 6:30 presentation.