CWPPRA is Still Having a Big Impact

10.24.2017 | In Funding & Policy
By Victoria Sagrera, Special Projects Coordinator, Restore or Retreat

Sediment and freshwater being pumped into the Bonfouca Marsh Creation project to create new wetlands.

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. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service; the state funds the remaining 15 percent.

At the recent CPRA meeting in Belle Chasse, CPRA’s New Orleans Region Operations Manager John Troutman said, “We are in the engineering and design phase for 10 projects totaling approximately $291 million in funding through CWPPRA. These are mainly marsh creation and restoration projects needed to restore or maintain the natural buffer that protects us against storm surge, and preserves our important fisheries ecosystem.”

Duplantis Design Group Business Unit Leader – Coastal Division, Joseph Guillory, PE, speaking with site visitors about specifics of the project.

The dedication ceremony event, hosted by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeast Louisiana Refuges Complex in Lacombe, gave insight into seven highlighted projects located in southeast Louisiana. The status of these projects ranged from currently-in-progress to successfully complete. One of the highlighted projects is located in Lafourche parish, Barataria Basin Landbridge Shoreline Protection, Phase 3 (BA-27c).

The Barataria Basin Landbridge Shoreline Protection project has been successfully completed to combat the increased tidal action and erosion rates that threaten the upper Barataria Basin. In order to preserve the effectiveness of the scope area in preventing marsh loss, 21,400 feet of protection was placed along the west bank of Bayou Perot and the north shore of Little Lake in Lafourche Parish. In Jefferson Parish, about 16,440 feet of protection is located along the east bank of Bayou Perot, about 2,200 feet along the east bank of the Harvey Cutoff, and about 2,800 feet along the west bank of the Harvey Cutoff. In 2004, 10,865 feet of shoreline protection was completed, 10,575 feet was completed in 2009, and 21,400 feet was completed in 2017. The $46.2 million CWPPRA project is a partnership between CPRA and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Site of the Bonfouca Marsh Creation project where the breach is being filled with new wetlands.

Johnny Bradberry, the Assistant to the Governor on Coastal Activities, pointed out at the October board meeting that CWPPRA is the state’s most cost-efficient coastal funding program. “For CWPPRA-funded projects, CPRA’s cost share is only 15 percent with the other 85 percent provided by our Federal CWPPRA partner agencies. We were happy to hear Colonel Clancy with the Corps of Engineers say last week that Congress will reauthorize CWPPRA and it will be able to help us for many years to come.”

Happy we all are indeed!