Louisiana Oil Spill Trustees Fund $22.3 Million in Restoration Projects

10.20.2016 | In Press Releases

Draft plan advances key restoration projects, sets stage for future sediment diversions

(New Orleans — Oct. 20, 2016) Today, Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), along with the other state and federal agencies comprising the Louisiana Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustee Implementation Group, announced the release of its first Draft Restoration Plan. This plan proposes $22.3 million in restoration projects in Louisiana to address environmental damages resulting from the 2010 Gulf oil disaster and lays out a vision for future investments. It is the first natural resource restoration plan to be released since the NRDA settlement was approved in April 2016.

In response to this announcement on the NRDA draft plan, Restore the Mississippi River Delta – which includes Environmental Defense Fund, the National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation – released the following statement:

“Six years after the Gulf oil disaster wreaked havoc on our coast and ecosystems, today’s release of the NRDA Trustees’ first draft restoration plan is an important step on the path toward repairing this damage and restoring our coast. The plan wisely recognizes sediment diversions as a crucial cornerstone to restoring coastal Louisiana, and we’re encouraged to see the Trustees acknowledge this fact by setting the stage for funding construction of sediment diversions in the future. We also applaud the Trustees for funding projects now that are included in CPRA’s Coastal Master Plan or address specific resources injured by the Gulf oil disaster.

“With funding from the historic BP settlement, Louisiana has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to address systemic issues plaguing its coast and ecosystems, worsened by the Gulf oil disaster. This plan prioritizes leveraging resources, coordination and transparency across agencies and state entities, including the RESTORE Council, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation and the state of Louisiana, to ensure that these funds do as much good as possible — and quickly. That is a win for the people, wildlife and industries of Louisiana.”

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  
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

Restore the Mississippi River Delta is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Composed of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. Learn more at www.mississippiriverdelta.org.