Recovery

Grants to Become Available for Coastal Resiliency Projects

The federal government is providing $30 million in grants for coastal resiliency projects, which could benefit south Louisiana.

by Scott McLendon, The Houma Courier, La. / July 16, 2018
A photo of New Orleans, La., on Sept. 14, 2005, two weeks after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city. Direct damage to the city was estimated at $80 billion and the city's loss continues at an estimated $15 billion in GDP per year. FEMA/Bob McMillan

(TNS) — The federal government is providing $30 million in grants for coastal resiliency projects, which could benefit south Louisiana.

Areas eligible for matching grants include much of the coastal U.S., including the entire southern coast of Louisiana.

"In less than a century, Louisiana lost nearly 1 million football fields of land," said Sen. John Kennedy, R-La. "Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike exacerbated our land loss. We're in a David versus Goliath battle to save our coast. This partnership will help us strengthen our coastal communities and protect the habitats that are so unique to Louisiana."

The money will be aimed at helping restore, increase and strengthen natural features that protect coastal communities. That includes features such as marshes, beaches, coral reefs, mangroves, forests and barrier islands that help minimize the impact of storms.

Eligible entities include nonprofit organizations, state and territorial government agencies, local governments, educational institutions, Native American tribal governments and commercial organizations.

The restoration projects will focus on threats such as increasing water levels, river flooding and coastal erosion. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the program will benefit local economies while sustaining habitats and wildlife.

"Protecting local coastal communities and benefiting wildlife at the same time is a huge win-win for coastal regions of the United States," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. "The projects we fund through this new partnership with NOAA, and with the support of Congress, will provide lasting benefits to millions of Americans, and to the natural resources that are essential to the future of the nation."

Awards made for project planning and design will range from $100,000 to $250,000. The largest portion of the money will be used for implementation projects, with estimated awards ranging from $500,000 to $3 million.

Implementation projects must be completed within three years of the grant's start.

Proposal information can be found at nfwf.org and are due Aug. 7. The review period runs from August through October, with the awards being announced in November.

— Staff Writer Scott McLendon can be reached at 857-2204 or smclendon@houmatoday.com. Follow on Twitter @mclendon_b

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