MRGO ecosystem restoration – critical to protection of the Greater New Orleans Area – still waits for funding and implementation of keystone projects. Despite strong public support for implementation of the restoration plan, no funding has been appropriated to the Corps for further study or construction regarding ecosystem restoration in the MRGO impacted areas. Continuing conflicts between the Corps and the State of Louisiana over the State’s cost-share continue to plague the restoration process. However, key MRGO projects are approved for RESTORE Act funding and are potential candidates for NRDA funding, presenting a major opportunity for the restoration effort.
Upcoming opportunities to move restoration forward in the MRGO ecosystem area:
CWPPRA: PPL 26 projects in Region 1
2017 Louisiana Master Plan for Coastal Protection and Restoration: Formal public meetings on the draft plan are set for January 2017 and regional community meetings will be held as well. CPRA also hosts monthly board meetings where the public can comment.
NRDA: Project-specific restoration plans come out in 2017 with public comment opportunities
RESTORE: The next iteration of the Funded Priorities List is anticipated in late 2017 or early 2018 and will entail public comment opportunities. The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority will be the lead on planning for the projects submitted to the RESTORE Council by the State.
(hover or click the dots on the map to see the projects and their locations)
Implementation of the 2012 Louisiana Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, which utilizes the MLOD Strategy
State and/or Federal funding and implementation of key regional coastal projects in the MRGO Ecosystem Restoration Plan and State Coastal Master Plan including:
1. Golden Triangle Marsh Creation – marsh creation project spanning 2,442 acres located near the confluence of the MRGO and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and would buffer the newly built storm surge barrier;
2. Central Wetlands Diversion – provide sediment for emerging marsh creation and freshwater nutrients to sustain existing wetlands;
3. Biloxi Marsh Creation – create new wetland habitat and restore degraded marsh across 8,510 acres reduce wave erosion;
4. Bayou la Loutre Ridge Restoration – re-establish the historic ridge to improve hydrology, provide storm surge protection, decrease saltwater intrusion and provide important resting habitat for migratory birds;
5. Biloxi Marsh Oyster Reef Restoration – 231 acres of oyster reef along the outer edge of the Biloxi Marshes to reduce wetlands erosions, provide storm surge protection and generate economic benefits;
6. Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle – create new wetland habitat, restore degraded marsh and swamp and provide educational and recreational opportunities in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans;
7. New Orleans East Land-Bridge Restoration – marsh creation project spanning 6,427 acres to combat shoreline erosion and sustain the land bridge which is a critical line of defense for communities surrounding Lake Pontchartrain;
8. West Maurepas Freshwater Diversions – freshwater diversion that would benefit 45,126 acres of swamp and marsh, helping to sustain and restore the Maurepas Land-bridge which is a critical line of defense for communities surrounding Lake Maurepas and East Baton Rouge; and
9. Maurepas Land-Bridge Swamp Restoration – swamps restoration project that would diminish storm surge and withstand high winds providing enhanced risk reduction on the Maurepas Land-Bridge, a critical line of defense.