The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced that it has awarded more than $25 million in Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) funding to the state of Louisiana. The funding is for the construction of a protective land bridge to safeguard against erosion and preserve marsh along the Lake Borgne shoreline, on the eastern edge of New Orleans. The state will partner with Orleans Parish in the proposed three-year Orleans Land Bridge Shoreline Protection project. This is one of the largest single CIAP grants to be awarded since the start of the program.
Created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, CIAP provides funding to the six Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas producing states to conserve and protect the coastal environment. CIAP is an ongoing program with grant funding that is allocated based on the offshore energy revenues collected by the United States.
“This is an example of how energy revenues can be wisely reinvested in the protection of marshes, shorelines, and wildlife habitat,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “Louisiana’s wetlands are a national treasure that have been steadily disappearing, and we must continue to do all we can to protect and restore them.”
“Shoreline protection and wetlands preservation are crucial to Louisiana’s conservation efforts,” said BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich. “We will continue to leverage CIAP funds to assist Louisiana and its coastal parishes in important conservation and protection initiatives. We will see the impact of these preservation efforts for many years to come.”
The $25,857,541 grant for the state’s portion of the Land Bridge Shoreline Protection project, based in New Orleans, will be used to construct approximately 26,951 linear feet of marine protection mattresses along the Lake Borgne shoreline between Bayou Bienvenue and Alligator Point, a cape bordering the lake in eastern Orleans Parish.
The project’s marine mattress system is a form of coastal defense made by placing rock-filled containers inland to form a protective land bridge against wave erosion. This is expected to re-establish a sustainable Lake Borgne rim and halt marsh loss and shoreline retreat. The grant will also fund surveying, access and flotation channels, revetment terminations, contractor mobilizations and demobilizations, temporary warning signs, and a portion of the staging area’s aerial photography, inspection and equipment.
CIAP received $250 million in appropriated funds for each of the Fiscal Years 2007-2010, to be disbursed to six eligible OCS oil and gas producing states: Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, California, Mississippi and Texas.