Louisiana CPRA gets OK for Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion

The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) received approval of permits and permissions to build and operate the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) yesterday.

Governor John Bel Edwards twitter

This major milestone completes USACE’s extensive permitting process for the project.

Commenting the news, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said: “The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion is a first-of-its-kind environmental infrastructure project that will exist in our own backyard to serve areas experiencing some of the highest rates of land loss in the world.”

“The project also represents a major step forward to restoring for injuries suffered by our coastal estuaries as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Communities we feared could be removed from the map in 50 years will instead see thousands of acres of wetlands in the future that will provide them with natural and sustainable protection.

“I commend CPRA, USACE, and all other agencies involved for their leadership and diligence throughout this process, resulting in a truly robust analysis and science-based decision.”

The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion will utilize “engineering with nature” principles to re-establish a consistent flow of sediment and land building material from the Mississippi River into Barataria Basin.

This basin is an area experiencing some of the highest rates of land loss in the world and is home to the estuary most impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

Once operational, the project will have the ability to build and sustain up to 26,000 acres of wetlands that will support a stronger, more resilient estuary.

These wetlands will provide increased storm surge protection for communities in southeast Louisiana and create healthier habitats for the wide variety of aquatic species and wildlife in the basin.

Other benefits include a substantial economic stimulus to the surrounding communities during project construction.

If funding is approved, CPRA will begin construction activities for both the project and mitigation measures in 2023.