Louisiana receives coastal restoration grants

The money will go to St. Bernard and Orleans parishes

The Louisiana Highway 1 Bridge, also known as the Gateway to the Gulf Expressway, rises above the marshland and coastal waters on August 25, 2019, in Leeville. Louisiana has been losing its coastal landscape at the rate of almost a football fields worth of land every hour.. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Over $5 million will go to the St. Bernard Parish government to protect the remaining ridge through strategic armoring and reforestation” by “installing shoreline protection.” And another $1 million will go to the City of New Orleans to “conduct preliminary planning and design for living shoreline and marsh creation on the New Orleans East Landbridge, the only remaining natural feature in the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan that protects the City of New Orleans from storm surge in the Gulf.”

The funding comes from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and National Coastal Resilience Fund, who provided 46 new coastal resilience grants totaling more than $37 million. The awards announced generated $55 million in match from the grantees, providing a total conservation impact of $92 million, according to a press release on the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s website.

The $5 million grant to St. Bernard Parish will be spent on the creation of ridges and coastal forest restoration and monitoring work, according to Rob Blumenthal, a spokesperson for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The project will use the strategic placement of limestone ridges and Cyprus and Tupelo reforestation to reduce erosion on the ridge,” Blumenthal said. “Thereby decreasing flooding risks to the nearby community of Delacroix.”

This is a restoration and monitoring project, meaning the grantee has completed their engineering and design for the project and has — or shortly will have — all the permits they need to begin construction, Blumenthal said.

The $1 million grant to the City of New Orleans will be spent on creating preliminary engineering designs of a living shoreline and marsh creation using dredged material “for the purpose of increasing coastal resilience to flooding risks,” Blumenthal said.

Living shorelines are a green infrastructure technique using native vegetation alone or in combination with low sills to stabilize the shoreline.