September 29, 2008

Minerals Management Service Awards $8.5M Grant for Gulf of Mexico Shoreline Protection

By Anonymous

The Minerals Management Service has awarded an $8.5 million grant to the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources to study different types of shoreline protection at the existing Rockefeller Refuge area along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline.

The proposed project will install and analyze the effectiveness of four different test sections of shoreline protection located along the Gulf, from Beach Prong to Joseph Harbor, approximately 45 miles southeast of Lake Charles. Alternatives will include a 700- foot section of beach fill with gravel and crushed stone, a 500- foot section of reef breakwater with gravel and crushed stone beach fill, a 500-foot section of reef breakwater with lightweight aggregate core and a 500-foot section of concrete panel breakwater.

"It is very encouraging to see Louisiana's vitally important coastal restoration work continue, especially in light of recent hurricanes," said MMS Director Randall Luthi. "We look forward to continuing our work with Louisiana through (the Coastal Impact Assistance Program) to complete necessary coastal restoration and conservation projects."

The Rockefeller Refuge, located in Cameron Parish, is one of the most rapidly eroding portions of the Louisiana Gulf shoreline, MMS said, losing up to thirty to forty feet per year, according to estimates of long-term shoreline retreat. Tropical Storm Frances in 1998 caused more than fifty feet of erosion in just a few days. Scientists have concluded that modern rates of shoreline recession within Louisiana's Chenier Plain are generally increasing over time. This proposed shoreline project will determine the best alternative for combating the erosion in the Rockefeller Refuge.

The CIAP was created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Through the program, MMS will annually disburse $250 million in grants to six eligible Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas producing states - Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, California, Mississippi, and Texas - through 2010. The funding to Louisiana includes $127.5 million for each of the fiscal years 2007 and 2008, totaling $255 million. Nineteen Coastal parishes will share in the funding projects outlined in the state's approved plan.

Credit: CityBusiness Staff Reports

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