Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund in Louisiana
Phase I Projects
In November 2013, following consultation with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), NFWF announced its intent to obligate $67.9 million from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund for five projects in the state of Louisiana.
The projects reflect the fundamental components of Louisiana’s comprehensive Coastal Master Plan and focus on barrier islands and river diversions. These initial investments in planning, engineering and design are critical to the implementation of the Coastal Master Plan and to the long-term sustainability of one of the most productive, unique and imperiled coastal and estuarine ecosystems in the world.
Click on the project title for more information:
Caminada Beach and Dune Increment II: Engineering & Design
East Timbalier Island: Engineering & Design
Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion: Engineering & Design
Lower Mississippi River Sediment Diversions: Planning
Increase Atchafalaya Flow to Terrebonne: Planning
NFWF is engaged in consultation with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and federal resource agencies to identify priority projects for future consideration under the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. Final approval of future projects is anticipated during 2014.
About the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund
NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund was established in early 2013 as a result of two plea agreements resolving the criminal cases against BP and Transocean after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The agreements direct a total of $2.544 billion to NFWF over a five-year period. The funds are to be used to support projects that remedy harm to natural resources that were affected by the spill.
Learn more about NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.
The Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund in Louisiana
In Louisiana, the plea agreements required that the funds be allocated solely to barrier island restoration projects and river diversion projects along the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers. NFWF must give appropriate consideration to Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan and the Louisiana Coastal Area Mississippi River Hydrodynamic and Delta Management Study. Under the allocation formula and other provisions contained in the plea agreements, the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund will receive $1.272 billion over a five-year period for project expenditures in the state of Louisiana.
The Oil Spill in Louisiana
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill exacerbated the ongoing crisis and increased Louisiana’s urgency to protect and restore its fragile coast. Oil from this disaster continues to impact Louisiana’s coastal areas and affects countless species and habitats in Louisiana’s unique estuarine landscape. Oil was observed on nearly 25 percent of the coastal area surveyed in Louisiana, and over 11 million pounds of oily material have been removed from Louisiana since June 2011. Oil can still be found on more than 200 miles of Louisiana’s coastline.
In the wake of the spill, the path forward in Louisiana began with a distinct focus. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Louisiana Legislature created the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and required that it develop a plan for a safe and sustainable coast. Building on the first master plan adopted in 2007, the current plan identified the restoration of barrier islands and the establishment of river diversions as cornerstones of a comprehensive approach to protect and restore these fragile resources. The Plea Agreements that guide the implementation of the Gulf Fund adopt these fundamental components.
For more information on the State of Louisiana’s process for identifying priority Gulf Coast restoration projects, visit the CPRA website: http://coastal.louisiana.gov