BATON ROUGE, La. (Office of the Governor) - On Wednesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) has received $2.2 million from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Board of Directors to be used toward the completion of the East Timbalier Island Project design.
“This is another significant step to help advance this important project as part of Louisiana’s continuing efforts to restore our coast from damages caused by the BP Oil Spill,” said Gov. Edwards. “The new funding will allow for additional data collection and surveys that are needed to finalize design and permitting for the restoration of this barrier island project. I’m proud of Johnny Bradberry, CPRA’s board chair and my executive assistant for coastal activities, and his team for their commitment to securing this funding and ensuring that work is being done to restore our coast which is vital to our state, coastal communities and the nation.”
This latest award is in addition to NFWF’s previous $5.6 million award for this project and was approved following extensive consultation with CPRA, FWS and NOAA. NFWF’s total funding toward Engineering and Design phase of the East Timbalier Project is $7.8 million. The East Timbalier Island is located in Terrebonne Parish about 60 miles southwest of New Orleans and 4.5 miles southwest of Port Fourchon in Lafourche Parish, between Timbalier Isand and Bayou Lafourche.
To date, NFWF has awarded more than $467 million to 12 projects in the state of Louisiana. Projects were selected for funding following consultation with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and reflect the fundamental components of Louisiana’s comprehensive Coastal Master Plan. Additionally, projects focus on actions to restore barrier islands and implement river diversions, in accordance with the terms of the plea agreements.
“These investments in planning, engineering and design, and construction are critical to the implementation of the Coastal Master Plan and to the long-term sustainability of Louisiana’s coast - one of the most productive, unique and imperiled coastal and estuarine ecosystems in the world,” stated Johnny Bradberry.
In total, NFWF announced awards from its Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) to 19 projects and several amendments to previously announced projects designed to remedy harm and reduce the risk of future harm to natural resources that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Other Gulf States included in the fifth round of grant awards include Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Texas.
To date, GEBF has provided project awards for nearly $1 billion dollars: Louisiana has been awarded more than $467 million for 12 projects; Alabama now stands at 24 projects, with a total value of more than $148 million; Florida has received more than $110 million for 26 projects; Mississippi has been awarded $140 million for 18 projects, and Texas stands at 41 projects valued over $108 million.
In the press release, NFWF states: “As required under the plea agreements, NFWF consulted with state resource agencies, as well as with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to identify potential project priorities and funding needs. The discussions ensured coordination between NFWF’s GEBF and the agencies’ related activities under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and RESTORE Act programs. The GEBF projects announced today will complement those previously announced or currently under consideration by the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and RESTORE Act programs. Collectively, and where appropriate, these efforts are being coordinated and leveraged to advance large-scale Gulf Coast conservation outcomes and maximize sustainable environmental benefits.”
The Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), supports projects to remedy harm and eliminate or reduce the risk of harm to Gulf Coast natural resources affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.