DWH NRDA Restoration - Louisiana TIG Draft Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #8: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats
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 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #8: Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats. The total estimated cost of the four preferred project alternatives is approximately $74.8 million.
Of the four preferred projects, two are for engineering and design and two are for construction.
1. New Orleans East Landbridge Restoration Project: Engineering and design for a project that (if constructed in the future) would create and restore marsh habitat that separates Lake Pontchartrain from Lake Borgne and the Gulf of Mexico. Approximate cost: $4 million.
2. Raccoon Island Barrier Island Restoration Project: Engineering and design that (if constructed in the future) would create and enhance beach, dune, and tidal habitats through sand fill placement and shoreline protection. Approximate cost: $8.2 million.
3. Bayou Dularge Ridge and Marsh Creation: Create and nourish marsh on the south side of Bayou Dularge and restore the ridge along the southern bank of Bayou Dularge. Approximate cost: $65 million.
4. Bayou La Loutre Ridge Restoration and Marsh Creation: Create and nourish marsh along Lena Lagoon, and restore the ridge along the southern bank of Bayou La Loutre. Approximate cost: $21 million.
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.