Mayor Cantrell Lauds Approved Funding for Project to Stabilize Coastal Wetlands Around New Orleans
Photo from Getty Images
NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell today applauded the approval of funding for the construction of a project that will help create marsh land and stabilize the coastline on the New Orleans East Landbridge in the face of increasing coastal land loss and sea-level rise. The City of New Orleans shared the announcement in a press release.
The restoration project will receive funding through the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA), a federal program that provides for targeted funds to be used for planning and implementing projects that create, protect, restore and enhance wetlands in coastal Louisiana.
“The future resilience of New Orleans relies on increasing the stability of the coastal wetlands surrounding our city. I am encouraged by the state’s commitment to funding the New Orleans Landbridge Shoreline Stabilization and Marsh Creation project,” Mayor Cantrell said. “This effort will result in increased protection from storm surges and waves, improved fish and wildlife habitat, and increased resilience of coastal wetlands.”
The project has enjoyed strong support from the Mayor, the New Orleans City Council, non-profit partners and residents.
“Coastal wetlands are one of our first lines of defense when storm surge approaches the city, so I am encouraged by this important step toward approved funding for the New Orleans Landbridge,” said Ramsey Green, deputy chief administrative officer for Infrastructure and Chief Resilience Officer. “As a City, we must make our decisions with resilience in mind to ensure a better future for the next generation. Our Office of Resilience and Sustainability is in place to support projects like the land bridge and institutionalize resiliency initiatives so that they become city policy.”
“It was a pleasure partnering with the Mayor’s Office of Resilience in Baton Rouge recently and expressing District E’s support to the Landbridge project. This project is of critical importance because the New Orleans Landbridge provides one of the last lines of defense against storm surges coming into Lake Pontchartrain. Restoring the Landbridge would provide a buffer to flooding along Chef Menteur Highway – which is an important evacuation route and up and coming economic corridor,” said City Council Member Cyndi Nguyen of District E, where the project is located. “The $21 million from CWPPRA is critically important for the Lake Catherine community, economic development, and more importantly, public safety. I look forward to working more on the development of this important venture.”
“Each year, as the world warms and the oceans rise, New Orleans becomes more of a coastal city. We will need every tool and resource in our arsenal to keep our city dry and protect it from increasingly turbulent weather. Our vulnerable areas, such as New Orleans East, need our help. This project can help form a vital barrier for residents and I’m proud to help lend the Council’s full support to this effort,” said City Council Vice President Helena Moreno.
The CWPPRA’s Technical Committee voted to approve $21,156,376 in construction funding for the New Orleans Landbridge Shoreline Stabilization and Marsh Creation project. This decision will go before the CWPPRA Task Force in January 2019 for a vote to approve of the Technical Committee’s funding recommendations.
The New Orleans Landbridge plays a critical role in protecting more than 1.5 million people in Greater New Orleans and in the parishes surrounding Lake Pontchartrain by reducing the pressure that storm surge puts on our levees and grey infrastructure.
The Landbridge also provides a buffer to flooding for the residents of Lake Catherine and along Chef Menteur Highway, an important evacuation road during storm events. The multiple benefits of this project underscore why this project is a priority for the city, state, and CWPPRA program and why the Technical Committee advanced this project for Phase 2 construction funding.