Draft plan advances key restoration projects, sets stage for future sediment diversions
New Orleans — 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.”
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