By Angelina Freeman, Environmental Defense Fund
While deliberations about the post-oil spill restoration program continue, ecosystem restoration has been a critical regional need for decades. The good news is that a program of providing ground and stabilization projects for Louisiana’s coastal wetlands – the “Louisiana Coastal Area Program”, or LCA – were authorized in the 2007 Water Resources Development Act and are proceeding toward construction. Six of the 15 projects specifically listed in the LCA authorization have moved most quickly toward construction, and therefore are referred to as the LCA 6.
Last week, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund and National Audubon Society reviewed and provided comments on the LCA 6 project reports and final environmental impact statements. The groups praised the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) for completing the Feasibility Reports and Proposed Chief’s Report for these LCA projects, and noted the importance of completing the final Chief’s Report before the end of the year deadline.
The groups provided specific comments that could be addressed during the engineering, design, construction or adaptive management phases of the projects. The groups also commended the Corps and the State of Louisiana for incorporating monitoring and adaptive management plans at the feasibility stage of project planning.
Stay tuned to future issues of Delta Dispatches, as we go through each of the LCA 6 projects, what they are, and what to expect.