Latest News

March 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

Draft Plan to restore Marine Mammals and Oysters

2020-03-20T20:43:09+00:00March 20th, 2020|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group is considering several restoration projects to restore for injuries to marine mammals and oysters.  Those projects are included in a draft restoration plan now open for public comment for 30 days through April 20, 2020. The trustees are also holding a public webinar on the plan on April 8. The plan, fact sheets in English and Vietnamese, and the executive summary in Vietnamese are all below.

The plan, “Draft Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #5: Living Coastal and Marine Resources – Marine Mammals and Oysters” (PDF, 218 pages), includes one preferred marine mammal project, and three preferred oyster projects.

Marine Mammal Restoration

The preferred project for marine mammal restoration will increase capacity for marine mammal stranding response along the Louisiana coast. It proposes enhancing the Louisiana Marine Mammal Stranding Network to enable more rapid responses to injured and dead dolphins and whales, and better understand the causes of death and illness by:

  • Hiring a Louisiana-based Stranding Coordinator that will build partnerships and conduct outreach
  • Providing additional infrastructure, equipment, and supplies needed to facilitate stranding response and improve rehabilitation capabilities (expected cost: $3,095,628).

Oyster Restoration

There are three preferred projects for oysters:

  • The Enhancing Oyster Recovery Using Brood Reef Project will construct a network of spawning stock oyster reefs to increase spawning oyster populations and offset impacts through construction of two reefs in the Lake Machais/Mozambique Point area and two in the Petit Pass/Bay Boudreaux area; and construction of up to 20 reefs in Chandeleur Sound (expected cost: $9,701,447).
  • The Cultch Plant Oyster Restoration Project will create oyster reefs through placement of limestone at a planting density of up to 200 tons per acre at select locations, with harvest closed until performance criteria are met (expected cost: $10,070,000).
  • The Hatchery-based Oyster Restoration Project will provide funding to support continued operations at the Michael C. Voisin Oyster Hatchery in Grand Isle, Louisiana with spat-on-shell deployment of hatchery-produced oysters onto existing shell substrate in public oyster seeding grounds that are low-producing or in need of rehabilitation (expected cost: $5,850,000).

We may select one or more of these projects for implementation.

Funding for oyster restoration under the preferred alternatives above is a commitment of all remaining dollars for oyster restoration in the Louisiana Restoration Area.  The programmatic structure of the proposed oyster cultch and brood reef projects should allow the trustees to continue to construct specific reef sites in the future. Additionally, the trustees may also propose projects in the future that benefit oysters through the wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats restoration allocation as described in the 2016 Programmatic Restoration Plan.

Public Comment and Webinar

The public is encouraged to review and comment on the draft plan through April 20, 2020 by submitting comments online, by mail, or during the public webinar.

We will hold a public webinar on April 8, 2020 at 4:00 pm CT. We will present the draft plan and take written comments submitted through the webinar.

Documents

February 2020

Notice of Intent to Supplemental a Louisiana Restoration Area Plan

2020-02-17T14:39:31+00:00February 14th, 2020|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group is considering changes to the Cypremort Point State Park Improvements Project initially approved in the July 2018 Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #4. One component of the project has already been completed by the State of Louisiana with other funds, so we’ll be considering new alternatives.

In Restoration Plan #4, the Louisiana TIG selected 19 projects intended to compensate for recreational use opportunities that were lost as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Among them was the Cypremort Project at an estimated cost of $4.48 million.

The project proposed enhancing fishing and recreational opportunities, providing new opportunities for recreational and educational use, restoring beaches for recreation and wildlife habitat, and protecting coastal nearshore marine habitats and recreational infrastructure.

Project components in the approved project include beach restoration, marsh boardwalk and trail construction, road and jetty repairs, and replacement of the breakwater system that helps protect the park’s recreational beach.

Since the finalization of Restoration Plan #4, the Louisiana Office of State Parks identified alternative funds and completed the breakwater system component of this project.  Therefore, we will now consider other alternatives to the breakwater system project element.

Once proposed changes are developed, we will make them available for public review and comment in a draft supplemental restoration plan.  After the public comment period ends, we will review, consider, and address public comments, as appropriate, before selecting an alternatives for implementation in a final supplement to Restoration Plan #4.

January 2020

Louisiana Trustees Propose Changes to the PACWMA Pirogue Launch Location

2020-01-31T20:00:47+00:00January 31st, 2020|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has released a draft supplemental environmental assessment (pdf 43 pg) proposing changes to the Point-Aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area (PACWMA) Recreational Use Enhancement Project. The original project was approved in the July 2018 Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #4. If approved, one component of the overall project, the pirogue (i.e., small boat) launch, would be moved from one part of the PACWMA to another. No additional funds would be needed to implement this change.

We invite you to comment on the draft supplemental environmental assessment through March 2, 2020.

Public comment can be submitted online or by U.S. Mail:

Download the Plan

December 2019

Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment for the Wetlands Center Project Modification

2019-12-23T13:13:06+00:00December 22nd, 2019|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has released a draft supplemental environmental assessment for the Wetlands Center Project Modification.

Public Comment Period: December 23, 2019 – January 21, 2020

Comments on this Draft Supplemental EA can be submitted during the comment period by one of following methods:

Online: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-areas/louisiana

By mail (hard copy), addressed to:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 29649
Atlanta, Georgia 30345

Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment for the Wetlands Center Project Modification

Draft Plan to Restore and Conserve Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitats Released

2019-12-20T21:43:50+00:00December 20th, 2019|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has released a draft restoration plan that proposes three restoration projects for the Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats restoration type. The Trustees are hosting a webinar January  8, 2020, and we’re inviting the public to comment on the plan until January 21.

Together, the proposed projects would create or restore more than 1,900 acres of marsh, beach , and dune habitat and protect more than 11.5 miles of shoreline. The total estimated cost is approximately $209 million.

Draft Plan Summary

The “Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Analysis #6: Restore and Conserve Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitat” (PDF, 365 pages) evaluates four restoration projects; the three preferred by the Trustees are:

  • West Grand Terre Beach Nourishment and Stabilization: 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: 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: 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.

We may select one or more of these for implementation.

Public Comment Period and Webinar

Public comments will be accepted through January 21, 2020. Public comments can be submitted online and through the mail.

We will conduct a public webinar on January 8, 2020  at 12:00 noon CT. Comments may be provided by the public during the webinar.

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

Louisiana Draft Restoration Plan #6
Louisiana Draft Restoration Plan #6 Fact Sheet in English
Louisiana Draft Restoration Plan #6 Fact Sheet in Vietnamese; tiếng Việt

Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Asking for Restoration Ideas

2019-12-19T19:04:23+00:00December 19th, 2019|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group is continuing restoration planning to address injuries caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and we would like your input regarding natural resource restoration opportunities in Louisiana. We will consider a range of restoration activities under the “Birds” and “Restore and Conserve Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats” restoration types.

You can find information on these restoration types and criteria we use to evaluate project ideas in the Trustees’ Programmatic Restoration Plan and its “Restoring Natural Resources” chapter.

You may submit new project ideas, or revise something you’ve already submitted, through the Trustee Council or Louisiana project idea submission portals by January 17, 2020.

  • Trustee Council Portal: If you have already submitted ideas for these restoration types to the Trustee Council portal, you are not required to resubmit them. You can edit your existing project idea in the Trustee database at any time by following steps listed there.
  • Louisiana Portal: If you have already submitted project ideas to the Louisiana portal in connection with other Louisiana restoration planning efforts, including Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan and Deepwater Horizon restoration planning efforts, you do not need to resubmit those ideas either. Instead, email LATIG@LA.gov, and reference simply reference the project name and date of submittal of your previous proposal(s), and we will consider them in this planning effort.
  • Projects submitted after the deadline will be considered in future restoration planning efforts.

We will consider projects that address the restoration types listed above, and may develop one or more draft restoration plans. We may also develop our own restoration projects for consideration. The public will be given the opportunity to review and provide input on a draft restoration plan, including specific projects proposed for implementation. After the public comment period ends, we will review, consider, and incorporate public comments, as appropriate, before releasing a final restoration plan.

Please contact us at LATIG@LA.gov if you have any questions. We look forward to considering your restoration project ideas.

November 2019

Draft Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #1.3: Rabbit Island Restoration and Shoreline Protection at Jean Lafitte Historical National Park and Preserve (Phase 2 RP/EA #1.3)

2019-11-20T15:37:50+00:00November 20th, 2019|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has prepared the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #1.3: Rabbit Island Restoration and Shoreline Protection at Jean Lafitte Historical National Park and Preserve (Phase 2 RP/EA #1.3) proposing construction activities to help restore injured resources under two restoration types identified in the Final PDARP/PEIS: “birds” and “habitat projects on federally managed lands”. The two projects were approved for engineering and design (E&D) in a 2017 restoration plan entitled Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Final Restoration Plan #1: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats; Habitat Projects on Federally Managed Lands; and Birds (Phase 1 RP #1).

The Phase 2 RP/EA #1.3 analyzes design alternatives for the two projects and proposes a preferred design alternative for construction of each. The proposed Rabbit Island project would meet the goal of restoring and conserving birds by restoring 87.8 acres of the island’s original 200-acre footprint for bird habitat. This would be done by raising the elevation of Rabbit Island using dredged fill material from the Calcasieu Ship Channel as the borrow source area. The proposed Jean Lafitte project would protect the shoreline and provide conditions for submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) to thrive, a nearly continuous rock breakwater would be implemented, with rock elbows protecting fish gaps and existing infrastructure along the eastern shorelines of Lake Cataouatche, Lake Salvador, and Bayou Bardeaux in the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. The northern portion of the rock breakwater would extend approximately 5.3 miles from Bayou Verret to tie into an existing riprap shoreline protection project at Lake Salvador near Couba Island with canal openings and pipeline right-of-way (ROW) access where needed. The southern portion of the proposed rock breakwater would tie into the southernmost end of the pre-existing riprap shoreline protection and extend approximately 2.2 miles to the area near Isle Bonne with pipeline ROW access where necessary. In Phase 2 RP/EA #1.3, the LA TIG is proposing to fund and implement only the southern portion at this time.

The LA TIG will host a public webinar on December 2, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. CST. The public may register for the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/576465552592329228. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the webinar. You may submit comments on the draft Phase 2 RP/EA #1.3 by one of the following methods:

  • Via U.S. Mail:  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 29649, Atlanta, GA 30345.  To be considered, mailed comments must be postmarked on or before the comment deadline.
  • During the public webinar: Written comments may be provided by the public during the webinar.

We welcome comments on Phase 2 RP/EA #1.3 and will consider public comments received on or before December 20, 2019. After the public comment period ends, the LA TIG will review, consider, and address public comments before releasing a final plan and environmental assessment.

Draft Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #1.3: Rabbit Island Restoration and Shoreline Protection at Jean Lafitte Historical National Park and Preserve (Phase 2 RP/EA #1.3)

Rabbit Island Restoration and Shoreline Protection at Jean Lafitte Historical National Park and Preserve Fact Sheet

October 2019

Draft Phase 2 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #1.2: Spanish Pass Ridge and Marsh Creation Project and Lake Borgne Marsh Creation Project

2019-10-18T14:02:38+00:00October 18th, 2019|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has released the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #1.2: Barataria Basin Ridge and Marsh Creation Project Spanish Pass Increment and Lake Borgne Marsh Creation Project Increment One (Phase 2 RP/EA #1.2), proposing construction activities for the restoration of wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats injured as a result of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. The two projects were approved for engineering and design (E&D) in a 2017 restoration plan entitled Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Final Restoration Plan #1: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats; Habitat Projects on Federally Managed Lands; and Birds (Phase 1 RP #1). The Phase 2 RP/EA #1.2 analyzes design alternatives for the two projects and proposes a preferred design alternative for construction of each. We invite comments on the draft Phase 2 RP/EA #1.2.

The LA TIG will host a public webinar on October 28, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. CST. The public may register for the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4633351197181038605.

After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the webinar. The presentation will be posted on the web shortly after the webinar is conducted.

You may submit comments on the draft Phase 2 RP/EA #1.2 by one of the following methods:

  • Via U.S. Mail:  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 29649, Atlanta, GA 30345. To be considered, mailed comments must be postmarked on or before the comment deadline.
  • During the public webinar: Written comments may be provided during the webinar.

We will consider public comments on the draft Phase 2 RP/EA #1.2 received on or before November 18, 2019. After the public comment period ends, the LA TIG will review, consider, and address public comments before releasing a final plan and environmental assessment.

Draft Phase 2 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #1.2: Spanish Pass Ridge and Marsh Creation Project and Lake Borgne Marsh Creation Project

Spanish Pass and Lake Borgne Fact Sheet

July 2019

Notice of Intent to Draft Restoration Plan in Louisiana

2019-07-19T21:02:50+00:00July 19th, 2019|News|

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group is beginning the process of drafting a Deepwater Horizon restoration plan to address the restoration goal of Restore and Conserve Habitat. The plan will consider projects under the “Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats” restoration type and under the following restoration approaches: create, restore, and enhance coastal wetlands; restore oyster reef habitat; create, restore, and enhance barrier and coastal islands and headlands; and restore and enhance dunes and beaches. Development of the Restoration Plan will be consistent with the Trustees’ Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan (PDARP), the Oil Pollution Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, their implementing regulations, together and with all applicable Federal and Louisiana law.

We began this restoration planning effort on June 6, 2019 by requesting project ideas from the public. The submission period for project ideas closed on July 5, 2019. We greatly appreciate your input and are reviewing those projects that were submitted

We expect to release a draft restoration plan and associated environmental analyses in late 2019. The public will be given the opportunity to review and provide input on the proposed plan, including any specific projects proposed for implementation. After the public comment period ends, we will review, consider, and incorporate public comments, as appropriate, before releasing a final restoration plan.