USACE, Louisiana CPRA partner on $6.5B storm surge risk reduction project

June 30, 2023
The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana signed a partnership agreement with USACE to implement localized storm surge risk reduction features to nearly 4,000 structures in the state.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) of Louisiana have signed a partnership agreement for the $6.5 billion Southwest Coastal Louisiana hurricane and storm damage risk reduction and coastal ecosystem restoration project.

The Southwest Coastal Project will implement localized storm surge risk reduction features to reduce hurricane storm surge damage risks to nearly 4,000 structures across multiple parishes.

“Today is a monumental day for our coastal program and the people of southwest Louisiana,” said Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) Chairman Chip Kline. “With the signing of this agreement, the Corps will soon begin allocating nearly $300 million to elevate homes in Southwest Louisiana, reducing risk for the residents of Calcasieu, Cameron and Vermilion parishes. This huge step forward in the Southwest Coastal Louisiana project has been decades in the making and will positively impact the region for generations.”

The Southwest Coastal Louisiana project was authorized in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016. Congress and the Administration made a national commitment by including $286 million in the 2022 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and $10 million in 2022 Community Project Funding to initiate construction of the non-structural flood risk management plan.

These funds will be used to elevate an estimated 800-1000 of the overall 3,462 residential structures identified in the feasibility report. The project will be cost shared at 65% federal and 35% by CPRA. An additional $10 million Community Project Funding will be applied toward project’s first restoration features, including six miles of shoreline protection at Rockefeller Refuge.

“This partnering agreement is a first step in implementing the combined non-structural flood risk management and coastal restoration to deliver an overal 1-percent level of risk reduction for the residents and businesses that participate in the program,” USACE Colonel Cullen Jones added. “We look forward to working closely with CPRA and our local governments as we move forward to deliver risk reduction to this vital part of the Nation.”

The purpose of the Southwest Coastal Project is to implement localized storm surge risk reduction features to reduce hurricane storm surge damage risks to structures in Cameron, Calcasieu, and Vermilion Parishes. Nearly 4,000 structures were identified as preliminarily eligible in the 2016 Final Feasibility Study. Qualifying residential structures will be raised approximately 5 feet on average. Additionally, 342 non-residential structures will be considered for dry-flood proofing to three feet above ground and berm construction for 157 warehouses will be considered less than or equal to 6 feet above the ground.

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