OCTOBER 4, 2019

$24.8 Million Awarded to Restore Coastal Wetlands in Louisiana

The CWPPRA Program restores wetlands along the Louisiana coast. (Photo: State of Louisiana)

As part of our efforts to support resilient coastal communities, NOAA is announcing the award of $24.8 million for three cooperative agreements. This funding will help restore habitat along Louisiana’s coast under the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) Program. Restoring wetlands and barrier islands increases protection for Louisiana’s people and property, in addition to benefitting one of America’s richest fisheries.

Coastal wetlands are Louisiana’s first line of defense during hurricanes and storms. They protect communities and infrastructure from the damaging effects of wind, waves, and flooding. They also provide habitat for fish and shellfish, which support a statewide seafood industry valued at nearly $1 billion annually. However, with one of the highest rates of wetland loss in the world, the Louisiana coastline has deteriorated extensively over the last several decades.

Aerial photo of construction underway on a marsh

Among the CWPPRA projects NOAA has supported is the restoration of more than 600 acres of salt marsh in Oyster Bayou in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. (Photo: Patrick M. Quigley)

Since 1990, the CWPPRA Program has served as the primary means for responding to coastal wetland loss in Louisiana. Each year, large-scale restoration projects are selected for funding by the CWPPRA Task Force. The Task Force is composed of the State of Louisiana and five federal agencies: NOAA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Earlier this year, the CWPPRA Task Force approved three NOAA-sponsored projects for funding:

Altogether, funding will support restoration of 1,309 acres of habitat. Since 1990, NOAA has been the federal sponsor for construction of nearly 30 wetland restoration projects through the program. These projects have restored more than 12,500 acres of vulnerable coastline and helping build the resilience of coastal communities.

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