A $9.3 million grant has been awarded to the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) to increase knowledge of the lower Mississippi River and how large-scale Coastal Master Plan projects will affect the ecosystem, navigation and economic activity.
According to CPRA, the grant from the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) will fund a large-scale program to continue building the technical knowledge base needed to develop a plan that moves the nation toward a more holistic management scheme for the Lowermost Mississippi River under the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act).
Gov. John Bel Edwards remarked, “This inter-agency research program will advance the science that will bring us closer to a management regime for the lower river that more completely considers its many vital functions.”
The Lowermost Mississippi River Management Program funded by this grant will advance the science developed under the Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) Mississippi River Hydrodynamic and Delta Management Study (MRHDMS). It will form the foundation for any future river management analysis by creating an integrated science-based management strategy for the Lowermost Mississippi River to reduce flood risk, provide for a more sustainable deltaic ecosystem, and also improve navigation.
“This project focuses on sustainability of the large-scale ecosystem of the Lowermost Mississippi River while supporting significant economic activity and navigation interests,” said Johnny Bradberry, Chairman of the CPRA Board. “This is exactly the approach of the Coastal Master Plan. This grant will support and advance our goal of having the multiple benefits a sustainable ecosystem provides for a safe, productive and resilient working coast.”
CPRA Executive Director Michael Ellis, “It is an ambitious program with the important goal of adapting and applying models that have been developed to analyze large-scale ecosystem restoration projects associated with the current alignment of the Mississippi River. This will inform decisions for future river management analysis, including alternative channel alignments or management strategies.”
This project is one of seven Louisiana projects the RESTORE Council has selected for funding under the Council’s Comprehensive Plan that will directly benefit our coastal area. These include:
- Golden Triangle Marsh Creation – $4.3M (LA);
- River Reintroduction Into Maurepas Swamp – $14.2M (LA);
- Biloxi Marsh Living Shoreline Project – $3.2M (LA);
- West Grand Terre Beach Nourishment and Stabilization – $7.3M (LA);
- Lowermost Mississippi River Management Program – $9.3M (LA);
- Jean Lafitte Tidal Protection – $8.7M (DOI);
- Bayou Dularge Ridge, Marsh and Hydrologic Restoration – $5.2M (USDA).