Decoding Diversion Permitting: What the Federal Dashboard Means for Restoring Coastal Louisiana

04.04.2018 | Posted by Maura Wood, Partnership Manager, Coastal Louisiana Restoration, National Wildlife Federation

It’s official! The Federal Permitting Dashboard has been updated for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project! The CPP is revised! Most importantly, the target date for completing permitting has moved up by almost two years! It’s pretty cool stuff, but you might be asking, “What’s a dashboard?” or “What is a CPP?!”  So allow us to explain. The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project will reconnect the Mississippi River with the wetlands in the Barataria Basin, an area with one of the highest …

GOMESA Coastal Restoration Funding Maintained in Trump Fiscal Year 2019 Budget

02.16.2018 | Posted by Ryan Chauvin, Digital Marketing and Communications Manager, Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, National Audubon Society

Earlier this week, the Trump Administration’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal was released, and we are happy to report that the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) funding is maintained. While the federal spending bills are actually crafted by the Congress, we expect GOMESA funding to be protected in that process as well. GOMESA, passed by Congress in 2006, set up revenue sharing for Gulf States for income generated by oil and gas leasing in certain offshore areas of …

Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion Takes Another Step Forward

01.25.2018 | Posted by Alisha Renfro, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program, National Wildlife Federation

Did you hear the news? Last week, while most of us here in Louisiana were working hard to keep warm, the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion reached a milestone when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) released the project’s scoping report. This critical restoration project is needed to restore natural delta processes by reconnecting the river to surrounding wetlands and divert sediment, nutrients and fresh water to build new land, maintain existing marshes and increase habitat resiliency to sea level rise …

Steve Cochran to U.S. Senate Committee: Enhance Investments in Our Critical Natural Infrastructure

01.10.2018 | Posted by Elizabeth Skree, Communications Manager, Ecosystems, Environmental Defense Fund

Earlier today, Steve Cochran, director of Restore the Mississippi River Delta, testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee as part of its hearing on reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), titled “America’s Water Infrastructure Needs and Challenges.” Jump to minute 56 to hear Steve's testimony. In his testimony, Cochran highlighted the urgency of coastal restoration and protection efforts underway in Louisiana, and the opportunities that exist to further invest in natural infrastructure to reduce flooding risks …

Pay-for-Performance: Bringing the Best of the Private Sector to Realize Wetland Restoration

12.06.2017 | Posted by Shannon Cunniff, Director, Coastal Resilience, Environmental Defense Fund

Over the next 15 years, Louisiana will receive billions of dollars for coastal restoration from Gulf oil spill settlements. While this influx will provide a significant, steady investment in restoring Louisiana’s coast, the amount falls short of what is needed to fully implement the wetland restoration projects in the state’s Coastal Master Plan. One idea to help reduce the funding gap is outcome-based contracting. Often called pay-for-performance contracting, this approach could help the state build wetland restoration projects at a …

CWPPRA is Still Having a Big Impact

10.24.2017 | Posted by Victoria Sagrera, Special Projects Coordinator, Restore or Retreat

The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act (CWPPRA), formerly known as the Breaux Act, hosted a dedication ceremony commemorating seven Southeastern Louisiana coastal restoration projects. Created by Senator John Breaux in 1990, CWPPRA allows for the funds from five federal agencies to be paired with state of Louisiana funding through the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) in paying for coastal restoration projects. The five federal agencies that fund 85 percent of the cost per coastal project include U.S. …

New Report Outlines How to Unlock Additional Funding Streams for Restoration

09.21.2017 | Posted by Shannon Cunniff, Director, Coastal Resilience, Environmental Defense Fund

For the nearly 40 percent of Americans who live near the coast, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria provide vivid reminders that living there comes with risks. These events also demonstrate that we need to rebuild stronger and smarter, by incorporating both gray and green infrastructure into coastal resiliency and protection plans. Strong community support – which stems from involvement in need identification and planning – is crucial for moving communities toward resilience So is funding. Houston’s chief resilience officer, Stephen …

Making the Most of an Unprecedented Opportunity: Funding Louisiana’s Coastal Program

08.10.2017 | By Charles Sutcliffe, Director of Policy and Programs, Office of the Governor: Coastal Activities

Funding a coastal protection and restoration program by first having to suffer through a catastrophe is an extremely painful and unsustainable way to work toward resilience. That being said, because of the disasters Louisiana has endured and thanks to the State’s widely-respected Coastal Master Plan, Louisiana has been entrusted with the financial resources, around $10 billion over the next 15 years, to implement a suite of the most significant projects in its $50 billion plan. The majority of the funds, …

Your Voice is Needed for #OurCoast: Attend Upcoming Mid-Barataria Scoping Meetings

07.10.2017 | Posted by Emily Falgoust, Communications Associate, Restore the Mississippi River Delta, National Audubon Society

As the State of Louisiana and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) move forward with the permitting process for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion – one of the most important restoration projects in the Coastal Master Plan – your voice and support are needed! The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion would reconnect the river with nearby wetlands and deliver sediment to build and maintain tens of thousands of acres in this crucial area. To get this project constructed, the Corps must follow …

This Tool Lets You See Flood Risk to Your Own Home

06.09.2017 | Posted by Simone Maloz, Executive Director, Restore or Retreat

Want to know more about flood risk in your own backyard, zeroing in on your very address? Want to know more about Louisiana Coastal Master Plan projects that will help reduce that risk? Then check out the best kept secret in coastal Louisiana: the Master Plan Data Viewer launched by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. Click here to see the Master Plan Data Viewer The easy-to-use viewer displays information on coastal land change, flood risk and impacts to communities. This …

Louisiana Coastal Area Funding Included in Omnibus Spending Bill

05.01.2017 | Posted by

Last night, U.S congressional leaders released a $1-trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government through the end of September. Congress is expected to approve the bill later this week. While the omnibus bill includes spending for numerous federal programs, of note for Louisiana is the inclusion of dedicated funding for the Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) program. The bill includes $9 million for the LCA Beneficial Use of Dredged Materials (BUD Mat) program and $520,000 for LCA general investigations. …

EDF Voices: Amid Dramatic Sea Level Rise, Nature Itself Can Provide a Much-Needed Solution

04.08.2016 | Posted by Shannon Cunniff, Director, Coastal Resilience, Environmental Defense Fund

Even if we manage to reach our goals for reducing greenhouse gases, the world will experience a dramatic sea level rise by 2100 – the latest study estimates by as much as six feet. With a water level that much higher than it is today, major coastal cities such as Boston, New York and Miami are sure to be below sea level. So the key question now is, how do we adapt to climate change effects we can no longer …

Conservation Groups Praise Governor Edwards’ Executive Order on Coastal Master Plan

04.04.2016 | By Conservation Groups Praise Governor Edwards’ Executive Order on Coastal Master Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, evancleve@edf.org Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, jhebert@audubon.org Jimmy Frederick, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, 225.317.2046, jimmy.frederick@crcl.org John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, 504.421.7348, jlopez@saveourlake.org Conservation Groups Praise Governor Edwards’ Executive Order on Coastal Master Plan Order Underscores State’s Prioritization of Comprehensive Coastal Restoration and Protection (NEW ORLEANS – April 4, 2016) Moments ago, Governor John Bel Edwards signed Executive Order NO. …

BP Oil Spill Fines Clear Way for Largest Restoration Effort in U.S. History

04.04.2016 | By BP Oil Spill Fines Clear Way for Largest Restoration Effort in U.S. History

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Contact: Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, jhebert@audubon.org Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, evancleve@edf.org Rachel Guillory, Ocean Conservancy, 504.208.5816, rguillory@oceanconservancy.org Andrew Blejwas, The Nature Conservancy, 617.785.7047, ablejwas@tnc.org  BP Oil Spill Fines Clear Way for Largest Restoration Effort in U.S. History State and federal leaders have once-in-a-lifetime window to make good on promises (NEW ORLEANS – April 4, 2016) Groups working on Gulf restoration lauded news today of …

LA Business Organizations Tout Significant Economic Potential of Coastal Restoration to Gov. Edwards

03.14.2016 | By LA Business Organizations Tout Significant Economic Potential of Coastal Restoration to Gov. Edwards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, evancleve@edf.org Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, jhebert@audubon.org Jimmy Frederick, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, 225.317.2046, jimmy.frederick@crcl.org John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, 504.421.7348, jlopez@saveourlake.org Caitlin Berni, Greater New Orleans, Inc., 504.527.6980, cberni@gnoinc.org Louisiana Business Organizations Tout Significant Economic Potential of Coastal Restoration to Governor John Bel Edwards Groups Urge Edwards to Protect Coastal Funding, Advance Master Plan for Long-term Prosperity …