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August 2020

Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #7:  Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats, and Birds Released

2020-08-20T13:48:58+00:00August 20th, 2020|News, Uncategorized|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has released its Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #7: Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats, and Birds. We will accept comments through September 22, 2020.

The draft plan includes proposed projects that restore the Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitat and Birds restoration types. It includes five proposed preferred alternatives which have a total estimated cost of $234.1 million. The proposed preferred alternatives are:

Birds:

  • Isle au Pitre Restoration – This project would enhance nesting conditions on the existing island by elevating portions of the island with dredged sediment and planting suitable vegetation for nesting brown pelicans and wading birds, long strips of deposited shell (shell rakes) for American oystercatchers, and shell or small limestone on the perimeter of the island for tern and black skimmer nesting habitat. The estimated project cost is $3.5 million (cost is E&D only).
  • Terrebonne Houma Navigation Channel (HNC) Island Restoration –This project would enlarge the island from its current size of 32 acres to approximately 50 acres by importing dredged sediment from a nearby suitable sand source and disposing of it adjacent and onto the existing island. The estimated project cost is $3.1 million (cost is E&D only).

Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitat:

  • Grande Cheniere Ridge Marsh Creation – This project would create up to 624 acres of marsh near Bayou Grande Cheniere, approximately 12,480 linear feet of earthen ridge along Jefferson Canal, and approximately 48,900 linear feet of earthen containment dike. The estimated project cost is $65 million.
  • Terrebonne Basin Ridge and Marsh Creation Project: Bayou Terrebonne Increment – This project would create up to 1,430 acres of brackish and saline marsh and restore up to 80 acres of earthen ridge. The estimated project cost is $156.5 million.
  • Bird’s Foot Delta Hydrologic Restoration – This project would restore the hydrology of the Mississippi River Bird’s Foot Delta by dredging Pass-a-Loutre, South Pass, and Southeast Pass to reconnect the Mississippi River with the marshes of the eastern and central Bird’s Foot Delta. The estimated project cost is $6 million (cost is for E&D only).

The restoration plan also includes two non-preferred alternatives, which are not summarized here.

A public webinar will be held on September 3, 2020 at 3:00 pm Central Standard Time to present the draft restoration plan and the proposed preferred alternatives. If you are unable to attend the webinar, the materials will be posted online shortly after the webinar on the Louisiana Restoration Area web page.

Public Comment Period

Public comments, accepted through September 22, 2020, can be submitted online and through the mail.

September 3 Webinar

We will conduct a public webinar on September 3, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. Please register for the webinar at our GoToWebinar registration page.

After registering, participants will receive a confirmation with directions for joining the webinar. A GoToWebinar system check is recommended before attending.

 

Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #7: Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats, and Birds

Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #7: Fact sheet

Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #7: Fact sheet Vietnamese

Register for September 9 Louisiana Annual Public Meeting Webinar

2020-08-12T14:04:48+00:00August 12th, 2020|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group will hold its annual public meeting via a webinar on September 9, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. CT.

During this meeting, the Trustees will present updates on the Louisiana Restoration Area plans, projects and other activities. We’ll also provide an opportunity for attendees to submit written comments using the web-based “chat” function in the webinar after the updates are presented. We encourage your attendance and participation.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information on how to join on the meeting date. We recommend doing a GoToWebinar system check before attending.

We will post the presentation and transcript to the Gulf Spill Restoration website and send a follow-up email to subscribers when it is available.

Please contact us at latig@la.gov by September 2, 2020, if you need assistance due to a hearing or visual impairment.

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has approved the Final Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #5: Living Coastal and Marine Resources – Marine Mammals and Oysters.

2020-08-04T15:03:44+00:00August 4th, 2020|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has approved the Final Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #5: Living Coastal and Marine Resources – Marine Mammals and Oysters.

We released the draft restoration plan in March 2020 and accepted public comment through April 20, 2020. This final plan will replenish and protect living coastal and marine resources (specifically, oysters and marine mammals) in the Louisiana Restoration Area. One project approved in the plan will focus on increasing capacity to respond to marine mammal strandings, and the other three will focus on oyster restoration in the Louisiana Restoration Area.

We released the draft restoration plan in March 2020 and accepted public comment through April 20, 2020. This final plan will replenish and protect living coastal and marine resources (specifically, oysters and marine mammals) in the Louisiana Restoration Area. One project approved in the plan will focus on increasing capacity to respond to marine mammal strandings, and the other three will focus on oyster restoration in the Louisiana Restoration Area.

 

Marine Mammal Project

The marine mammal project will increase capacity and expand partnerships along the Louisiana coastline for marine mammal stranding response.

  • Increased capacity will lead to improved rapid response to injured and dead dolphins and whales, and a better understanding of the causes of injury and/or death.
  • A Louisiana-based stranding coordinator will build partnerships and conduct outreach for the project.
  • Finally, the project will provide infrastructure, equipment, and supplies needed for stranding and rehabilitation.
  • Estimated cost of this project is $3,095,628.

This project will be led by NOAA in partnership with other federal and state trustees on the Louisiana TIG.

 

Oyster Projects

A network of oyster reefs will be constructed to increase spawning oyster populations.

  • This project will be done in two phases, the first includes construction of two reefs in the Lake Machais/Mozambique Point area and two in the Petit Pass/Bay Boudreaux area, each up to 10 acres in size and 1.2 m from bottom.
  • The second phase will identify and construct additional spawning stock reefs in areas of Louisiana public oyster grounds with suitable conditions for oyster propagation but larval supplies are low.
  • All constructed reefs from this project would be closed to harvest, but located near harvesting areas to promote habitat connectivity.
  • Estimated cost of this project is $9,701,447.

 

Oyster reefs will be created through placement of limestone cultch material.

  • Material will be placed in two locations, the first is a 200-acre site in the Grand Banks area of Mississippi Sound.
  • The second location is at a 200-acre site in Caillou Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation.
  • We will also identify and construct additional reefs in areas of Louisiana public oyster grounds with suitable conditions for oyster propagation but lack sufficient substrate for oyster populations to expand.
  • Harvest at these sites will be closed until performance criteria are met.
  • Estimated cost of this project is $10,070,000.

 

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group will provide funding to support operations at the Michael C. Voisin Oyster Hatchery in Grand Isle, Louisiana.

  • Project activities include production, deployment, and monitoring of hatchery-produced oysters onto established reefs within Louisiana’s public oyster areas that are low-producing or in need of rehabilitation.
  • The hatchery estimates production of at least 500 million oyster larvae per year.
  • A minimum of 25 percent of the oyster larvae produced would be dedicated for oyster restoration activities in protected areas.
  • Estimated cost of this project is $5,850,000.

 

All three oyster projects will be led by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries in partnership with federal and state trustees on the Louisiana TIG. The total $25,621,447 funding proposed for implementation of oyster restoration under the trustees’ preferred alternatives represents a commitment of all remaining available funding for oyster restoration in the Louisiana Restoration Area.

 

Louisiana Trustees Approve 1,200-acre Marsh Restoration Project in Barataria Basin

2020-08-04T14:12:36+00:00August 3rd, 2020|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has approved the Final Phase II Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #3.3: Large-scale Barataria Marsh Creation: Upper Barataria Component.

The project was initially evaluated for engineering and design funding in the 2018 Strategic Restoration Plan for Barataria Basin. We then released the draft restoration plan in March 2020 and accepted public comment through April 17, 2020. The approximate 1,200 acre marsh creation project approved in the plan will be implemented by NOAA, in partnership with other federal and state trustees on the Louisiana TIG.

  • The project includes filling areas to create an intertidal marsh platform that will support marsh plants and support healthy wetland habitat, which can lessen the impact of future storms by dissipating wave energy.
  • The project will use approximately 8.4 million cubic yards of sediment dredged from the Mississippi River.
  • A single construction phase will be used to maximize cost effectiveness. The estimated construction duration is 26 months. Bids are expected to be solicited by NOAA in 2021.
  • The total estimated cost is approximately $176 million, including previous design efforts.

This project is intended to continue the process of using restoration funding to restore and conserve wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats in the Barataria Basin, where the greatest oiling impacts from the Deepwater Horizon spill occurred. The trustees will continue to consider and plan for additional wetlands, coastal and nearshore habitat restoration projects in the future

July 2020

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has approved the Final Supplemental Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Cypremort Point State Park Improvements Project Modifications.

2020-07-10T14:17:06+00:00July 10th, 2020|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has approved the Final Supplemental Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Cypremort Point State Park Improvements Project Modifications. The modifications include replacing the original proposed breakwater system project feature with other recreational use features.

We released the draft supplemental restoration plan and environmental assessment for this project on April 17, 2020 and accepted public comment for 30 days.

The Cypremort Improvements Project modifications, as evaluated in the final supplemental plan, include an RV campground with approximately 30 new paved pull-through campsites with sewer, water, and electrical tie-ins; two mobile bathhouses with sewer, water, and electrical tie-ins; and a boat dock/fishing pier. The project also includes improvements to an existing rock jetty, beach reclamation, construction of a marsh boardwalk and trail, and road and parking lot repairs at Cypremort Point State Park.

The estimated cost of these improvements is $4.48 million.

The project improvements are intended to continue the process of using restoration funding to enhance recreational activities and amenities injured by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The project is consistent with the restoration alternatives selected in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact.

 

Final Supplemental Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Cypremort Point State Park Improvements Project Modifications

April 2020

Louisiana Trustees Initiate Restoration Plan #7 for Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats and Birds

2020-04-24T19:03:56+00:00April 24th, 2020|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group is beginning the process of drafting a Deepwater Horizon restoration plan to address the restoration goals of “Restore and Conserve Habitat” and “Replenish and Protect Living Coastal and Marine Resources”. The plan will consider projects under the “Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats” and “Birds” restoration types. Development of the Restoration Plan will be consistent with the Trustees’ Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan, the Oil Pollution Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, their implementing regulations, and all applicable Federal and Louisiana law.

We began this restoration planning effort on December 18, 2019, by requesting project ideas from the public. The submission period for project ideas closed on January 17, 2020. We greatly appreciate your input and are reviewing those project ideas that were submitted.

For Birds, we will prioritize projects that restore existing nesting habitat to maximize likelihood of success and benefit to injured resources.

For Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats, we are focusing on projects that will be construction ready in the near term and those that have sufficient planning to advance to engineering & design.

We expect to release a draft restoration plan and environmental assessment in fall 2020. The public will be given the opportunity to review and provide comment on the draft plan, and proposed projects. After the public comment period ends, we will review, consider, and incorporate public comments, as appropriate, before releasing a final restoration plan.

Draft Supplemental Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Cypremort Point State Park Improvements Project Modifications

2020-04-20T14:14:45+00:00April 20th, 2020|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has released a Draft Supplemental Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Cypremort Point State Park Improvements Project Modifications. The modifications under consideration include replacing the original proposed breakwater system project feature with other recreational use features. The Cypremort Project, with the breakwater system, was initially approved in the July 2018 Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #4 and had an estimated cost of $4.48 million. Since Restoration Plan #4 was approved, an alternative source of funds was found for the breakwater system.

The Draft Supplemental Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment evaluates three action alternatives:

  • Alternative A includes the components of the original Cypremort Improvements Project that were approved for funding but are not currently completed: improvements to an existing rock jetty, beach reclamation, construction of a marsh boardwalk and trail, and road and parking lot repairs.
  • Alternative B, the preferred alternative, includes the same components as in Alternative A and a new set of improvements at Cypremort Point State Park: an RV campground with approximately 30 new paved pull-through campsites with sewer, water, and electrical tie-ins; two mobile bathhouses with sewer, water, and electrical tie-ins; and a boat dock/fishing pier.
  • Alternative C includes the same components as Alternative B but eliminates the mobile bathhouses.

The estimated cost of the preferred alternative, Alternative B, is $4.48 million.

The modifications under consideration to the Cypremort Improvements project are consistent with the restoration alternatives selected in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Final Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS).

Public Comment and Webinar

The public is encouraged to review and comment on the draft plan. The public comment period will begin on April 20, 2020 and extend through May 20, 2020. Comments may be made online, by mail, or during the public webinar.

Atlanta, GA 30345

We will hold a public webinar on April 28, 2020 at 12:00 pm CT. We will present the draft plan and take written comments submitted through the webinar.

Draft Supplemental Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Cypremort Point State Park Improvements Project Modifications
Cypremort Point State Park Improvements Project Modifications Fact Sheet English
Cypremort Point State Park Improvements Project Modifications Fact Sheet Vietnamese

Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #6: Restore and Conserve Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats

2020-04-16T13:43:17+00:00April 10th, 2020|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has approved the Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #6: Restore and Conserve Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats. We released the draft restoration plan on December 20, 2019 and accepted public comment through January 21, 2020. The final plan includes three projects, which together, will create or restore more than 1,900 acres of marsh, beach, and dune habitat and protect more than 11.5 miles of shoreline:

  • West Grand Terre Beach Nourishment and Stabilization project: Creates and restores beach habitat, dune habitat, and intertidal marsh habitat and protects shoreline along Barataria Pass and Barataria Bay on West Grand Terre Island in Jefferson and Plaquemines Parishes. The estimated cost of the project is $92,500,000.
  • Golden Triangle Marsh Creation project: Restores approximately 774 acres of broken marsh and open water through marsh creation to help buffer storm surge and provide estuarine habitat for Lake Borgne in Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes. The estimated cost of the project is $50,000,000.
  • Biloxi Marsh Living Shoreline project: Creates oyster barrier reef along eastern shore of Biloxi Marsh to provide oyster habitat, reduce erosion, and prevent further marsh deterioration in Jefferson Parish. The estimated cost of this project is $66,600,000.

The selected projects are intended to continue the process of using restoration funding to restore and conserve wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats injured by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The total estimated cost of the selected projects is approximately $209 million.

Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #6: Restore and Conserve Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats

Final RPEA 6 Appendices

March 2020

Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Final Supplemental Environmental Assessment for the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area (PACWMA) Recreational Use Enhancement Project

2020-05-04T21:56:12+00:00March 25th, 2020|News|

As evaluated in the Final Supplemental Environmental Assessment for the Point-aux-Chenes WMA Recreational Use Project (PDF, 43 pages), one component of the overall project, the boat launch for pirogues, kayaks, and other non-motorized vessels, will be moved from one location to another. The new location, on top of the Terrebonne Parish 4-3C Levee, provides access to tidally influenced brackish and intermediate marsh without requiring clearing of vegetation or causing adverse effects to sensitive habitats. No additional funds will be needed to implement this change.

This Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment was released for public comment in January 2020.

Draft Plan for Design of Barataria Marsh Creation Project

2020-03-20T20:45:05+00:00March 20th, 2020|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group is considering design alternatives for the Large-Scale Barataria Marsh Creation: Upper Barataria Component project. The preferred design alternative, included in a draft restoration plan now open for public comment for 30 days until April 20, 2020, would create 1,207 acres of intertidal marsh in Upper Barataria Bay. The trustees will hold a public webinar to present the plan on April 2, 2020. The plan, fact sheets in English and Vietnamese, and the executive summary in Vietnamese are all below.

The plan, Draft Phase II Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #3.3 (PDF, 155 pages) includes evaluation of three design alternatives for the Upper Barataria marsh creation project. The preferred alternative represents a balance among the area of marsh being created, construction time required, and cost. The estimated total cost for the preferred alternative is approximately $176,000,000.

The project was initially evaluated for engineering and design funding in the 2018 Strategic Restoration Plan to help compensate the public for injuries to wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats in the Barataria Basin, where the greatest oiling impacts from the Deepwater Horizon spill occurred.

Public Comment Period and Webinar

Public comments will be accepted for 30 days through April 20, 2020, and we will hold a public webinar on April 2, 2020. We encourage you to review and comment on the draft plan by submitting comments online, by mail, or during the webinar.

We will conduct a public webinar on April 2, 2020 at 4:00 pm CT. We will present the draft plan and take written comments submitted through the webinar.

The presentation will be posted on the web shortly after the webinar is conducted.

Documents