As part of our efforts to support resilient coastal communities, NOAA is announcing the award of $24.8 million for three cooperative agreements. This funding will help restore habitat along Louisiana’s coast under the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) Program. Restoring wetlands and barrier islands increases protection for Louisiana’s people and property, in addition to benefitting one of America’s richest fisheries.
Coastal wetlands are Louisiana’s first line of defense during hurricanes and storms. They protect communities and infrastructure from the damaging effects of wind, waves, and flooding. They also provide habitat for fish and shellfish, which support a statewide seafood industry valued at nearly $1 billion annually. However, with one of the highest rates of wetland loss in the world, the Louisiana coastline has deteriorated extensively over the last several decades.
Since 1990, the CWPPRA Program has served as the primary means for responding to coastal wetland loss in Louisiana. Each year, large-scale restoration projects are selected for funding by the CWPPRA Task Force. The Task Force is composed of the State of Louisiana and five federal agencies: NOAA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Earlier this year, the CWPPRA Task Force approved three NOAA-sponsored projects for funding:
Construction of the Bayou De Cade Ridge Restoration and Marsh Creation Project, which will create and restore nearly 480 acres of habitat along the northern bank of Bayou De Cade in Terrebonne Parish. ($19,034,024)
Engineering and design for the Breton Landbridge Marsh Creation Project, which will restore 423 acres of marsh along the south side of Grand Lake in Plaquemines Parish. ($2,986,339)
Engineering and design for the East Delacroix Marsh Creation and Terracing Project, which will restore close to 406 acres of marsh in St. Bernard Parish, helping to protect the nearby community of Delacroix. ($2,810,962)
Altogether, funding will support restoration of 1,309 acres of habitat. Since 1990, NOAA has been the federal sponsor for construction of nearly 30 wetland restoration projects through the program. These projects have restored more than 12,500 acres of vulnerable coastline and helping build the resilience of coastal communities.