May 13, 2024 - News

Future uncertain for Louisiana's massive coastal restoration project

Graphic shows a map of Louisiana's coast

The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project would introduce freshwater and sediment from the Mississippi River into the Barataria basin in an effort to build land. Image: Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

A massive coastal restoration effort in Louisiana is in jeopardy, and officials say the state could lose nearly $1 billion if it's canceled.

Why it matters: $1 billion is a lot of money.

Catch up quick: The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project would build up to 21 square miles of wetlands over 50 years, according to Mark Schleifstein at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune.

  • It would do that by introducing freshwater and sediment from the Mississippi River into the Barataria Basin in Plaquemines Parish, according to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.
  • The $2.92 billion project is being paid for with BP oil spill fines and settlement money, Schleifstein writes.

Friction point: Plaquemines Parish forced work to stop several weeks ago amid pushback from fishermen who say the project will devastate their livelihood, reports John Snell with Fox 8.

Driving the news: CPRA leaders told a state Senate committee meeting Wednesday they are working with parish leaders to find a solution.

  • If the project gets canceled, the state could have to pay up to $500 million in damages to subcontractors, Schleifstein writes.
  • And, CPRA would lose the $422.23 million it's already spent.

Go deeper for the full story from NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

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