21 dredging projects get green light in Louisiana
The Louisiana Legislature has unanimously passed the 2023 Coastal Master Plan and the Fiscal Year 2024 Annual Plan, according to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA).
The projects identified in the 2023 Coastal Master Plan will restore and maintain over 300 square miles of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands and reduce expected annual damage by up to $15 billion. This builds on the 26,000 acres of coastal land already restored and maintained and 83 miles of improved levees.
Highlights of the 2023 Coastal Master Plan include:
- Calls for 77 projects that can preserve, protect, and restore the vibrancy and the characteristics of the coast.
- The projects identified in the 2023 Coastal Master Plan will restore and maintain over 300 square miles of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.
- Dedicates $25 billion to 65 restoration projects, including marsh creation, diversions, landbridges, ridge restorations, and hydrologic restoration projects.
- Identifies 12 structural risk reduction projects, including new levees and improving existing structures to withstand greater storm surges, to reduce flood damage by an estimated $7.7 billion.
- Allocates $11.2 billion to nonstructural risk reduction activities, such as residential elevations, commercial floodproofing, and voluntary acquisition of properties.
- $2.5 billion is allocated to programmatic restoration efforts and small-scale strategies, such as bank stabilization and barrier island maintenance.
Another important measure – an imperative to protecting Louisiana’s valuable coast – is the FY24 Annual Plan. The plan projects revenues and expenditures of $1.62 billion that will be used to fund 147 projects across the coast.
The plan outlines 21 dredging projects, which will utilize 77.3 million cubic yards of sediment to nourish over 14,500 acres of land across coastal Louisiana in the coming year. It is estimated that an investment in the coast at this level will create nearly 9,000 jobs in the coastal sector.