Yesterday the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority announced the opening of a public comment period for an amendment to the State of Louisiana’s State Expenditure Plan under the RESTORE Act.
This amendment proposes to reallocate $60 million to the Maurepas Swamp project and expand the geographic scope coastwide for all components of the System-Wide Assessment and Monitoring Program (SWAMP) under CPRA’s Adaptive Management Program without any associated change in funding.
The $60 million would come from a previously-approved allocation for the CPRA-Parish Matching Opportunities program.
The Maurepas project will divert Mississippi River water into the Maurepas Swamp to restore processes that enhance ecosystem health and reduce future loss of approximately 45,000 acres of bald cypress-water tupelo forest. It is a critical component of the State’s Coastal Master Plan.
Additionally, a portion of the Maurepas project area overlaps the $700 million West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction Project to reduce flood risk to over 60,000 people in St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. James Parishes. The commonality provides a key opportunity to save money by consolidating the engineering, design, and construction of the overlapping portions of the two projects.