Coastal Authority Gets $50,000 Donation
LAKE CHARLES, LA (AP) — Representatives with Columbia Pipeline Group have presented the Chenier Plain Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority with a $50,000 donation to help fund continued operations to protect the Southwest Louisiana coastline.
The donation is the first the authority has received. The state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority in 2013 gave the authority $250,000 to help start operations.
Earl Landry, the authority's president, told The American Press’ John Guidroz Columbia will provide the authority with an additional $50,000 in 2016 and 2017. He says the donations will keep the board active as it seeks other methods of financing, including a property tax millage for Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis parishes.
"This was huge," board vice president Michael Dever said of Columbia's donation. "If we don't have enough money … we just won't exist."
Angela Braun, Columbia's community relations manager, said the idea for the donation came about after Columbia representatives spoke with Sen. Dan Morrish, R-Jennings, about the proposed $300 million Cameron Access Project.
The project, Braun said, calls for improving the existing Columbia Gulf pipeline and installing a 26-mile pipeline in Cameron Parish to provide another source of natural gas to the Cameron LNG facility. The proposed project is located within Morrish's district.
"In speaking with (Morrish), which is our normal outreach, he put the authority on our radar," she said. "It seemed like an amazing organization to work with because we're really concerned with our environmental footprint."
Morrish said the donation "goes a long way" to help the authority with preserving and restoring the wetlands and coastline of Southwest Louisiana.
"It's great that with one phone call and one request that Columbia Gulf stepped up to the plate immediately," he said.
Dever said Columbia's donation could persuade other entities to donate money to the Chenier authority. Columbia Pipeline Group is the parent company of Columbia Gulf, which works in the transmission of natural gas.