Friday, May 15, 2009

Legislators Attempt to Cut Coastal Restoration Funding

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2009 at 2:52 PM

According to sources within the Governor’s Office on Coastal Activities, there is a move afoot by Baton Rouge-area representatives to strip $100 million from the state’s coastal restoration efforts. The Louisiana House of Representative’s HB2, which is the state’s capital outlays budget, proposes $300 million be spent on coastal restoration. Apparently, these legislators believe the coastal restoration budget to be an easy target for taking funds from and consider these coastal projects unessential.

     Of the $300 million in HB2, $200 million will be used to purchase land, access and right-of-ways for the Greater New Orleans Storm Damage Risk Reduction System and is part of the state’s obligation to the federal project. Any delays in state funding could result in delays in completing the New Orleans system, which is scheduled to be finished by 2012.

     The other $100 million will be used for major coastal restoration projects elsewhere in the state, including Terrebonne Parish. In 2008, Hurricane Ike caused the worst flooding in the coastal parish’s history.

     “Even talk of taking money from coastal restoration efforts is disturbing,” the official says.

     Debate on HB2 will begin this morning on the House floor. 

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