DWH NRDA Restoration - Louisiana TIG Draft Phase II Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #3.3: Large-Scale Marsh Creation: Upper Barataria Component
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the largest maritime oil spill in U.S. history. It resulted in the discharge of millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Under the Oil Pollution Act (OPA), each party responsible for a vessel or facility from which oil is discharged, or which poses the substantial threat of a discharge, is liable for, among other things, removal costs and damages for injury to, destruction of, loss, or loss of use of natural resources, including the reasonable cost of assessing the damage. Pursuant to OPA, federal and state natural resource trustees, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and trustee agencies from the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, were charged with assessing and restoring for injuries to affected Gulf resources.
Under a global settlement reached on April 4, 2016, the Trustees released the Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS). The settlement agreement includes a funding schedule that will extend through 2031. During this timeframe the trustees will provide many opportunities for public participation, including the opportunity to submit project ideas and proposals and to comment on draft restoration plans
Consistent with the PDARP/PEIS, the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has prepared the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Phase II Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #3.3, Large-Scale Marsh Creation: Upper Barataria Component. This plan considers design alternatives for Upper Barataria marsh creation to benefit wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats in the Louisiana Restoration Area. The estimated cost of the project is $176 million. These costs cover engineering and design, construction, monitoring and adaptive management, and operations and maintenance.
The proposed Upper Barataria Marsh Creation project would restore approximately 1,207 acres of intertidal marshes. Construction would require approximately 26 months and entail filling diked marsh creation areas with approximately 10.6 million cubic yards of sediment from renewable Mississippi River borrow sources.
The proposed project was approved for engineering and design in the 2018 Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Strategic Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #3: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats in the Barataria Basin.
Mel Landry, NOAA (225) 778-7380