The coastal erosion project funding will come from offshore oil and gas drilling income
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced $300 million in funding will go towards coastal protection projects over the next three years. The coastal erosion control funding will come from offshore oil and gas drilling income. Additionally, Edwards will solicit lawmakers to spend $55 million from last year’s state surplus on coastal work, reported The State.
“This is a threat to the 2 million people who live and work along the coast,” Edwards said. “There is a sense of urgency that we just cannot escape.”
The offshore oil and gas drilling income fund that will provide $300 million in funding is called the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA), according to The Advocate. Edwards announced plans to use $120 in federal funding for coastal erosion projects over the next 12 months alone and proposed using $30 million for the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain hurricane protection project.
“This money is crucial to help our coastal communities mitigate the risk that we face from rising seas and destructive storms that will continue to batter our coast,” said Kimberly Reyher, executive director of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.
Other projects slated to receive funding include improvements to the levee system in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, levee construction in Jean Lafitte, levee repair work in Grand Isle, a pump station in Bayou Lafourche, a flood control construction in St. Mary Parish, and a drainage canal relocation in Plaquemines Parish. The funding also will go towards design of the Slidell ring levee in St. Tammany Parish, work on the Houma Navigation Canal Lock Complex and levee work in the Upper Barataria Risk Reduction System