Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project gets $2.26B funding
The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (LA TIG), the group of state and federal agencies responsible for overseeing and approving spending Deepwater Horizon natural resource damages oil spill settlement dollars in Louisiana, has approved $2.26 billion in funding for construction of the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion.
“This decision is the culmination of exemplary collaboration across federal and state agencies to address a complex issue with an impactful solution,” said Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) Chairman Chip Kline. “With this funding, we are finally equipped to bring the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion, a cornerstone project of our Coastal Master Plan, to life and implement a fundamentally new approach to restoration that makes our coastal program stronger and more sustainable than ever before.”
The LA TIG evaluated the proposed Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion, a range of alternatives, and a future without the project under the Oil Pollution Act to determine the project’s effectiveness in restoring for injuries to the natural resources in the Barataria Basin caused by the oil spill. Barataria Basin, the project’s location and greatest beneficiary, is one of the areas most impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and subsequent response activities.
As noted in their final Restoration Plan, the LA TIG believes that a sediment diversion is the only way to achieve a self-sustaining marsh ecosystem in the Barataria Basin.
In December 2022, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a Record of Decision (ROD) and approved the permits and permissions necessary to construct the project, completing an extensive environmental review process.
With funding secured, CPRA is coordinating with USACE to finalize all engineering and design tasks and complete the administrative steps necessary to begin construction. It is anticipated that construction activities will begin later this year and take at least five years to complete.
This sediment diversion is located along the west bank of the Mississippi River near Myrtle Grove. The project will reconnect the river to the influence area and divert sediment, nutrients and fresh water to build new land, maintain existing marshes and increase habitat resiliency to sea level rise and storm events.