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State of Louisiana Awards More Than $3 Million to St. Tammany Parish for Coastal Communities Program

Nov. 14, 2011

BATON ROUGE, La. - The State Office of Community Development - Disaster Recovery Unit has awarded $3,281,309 to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority for two projects in St. Tammany Parish as part of the Sustainable Coastal Communities Program.

Using Community Development Block Grant recovery dollars, allocated to the state by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in response to hurricanes Gustav and Ike, the Madisonville Bulkhead and South Slidell Flood Control Structure projects will each receive $1.64 million.

"Hurricanes Gustav and Ike caused significant damage to our coastal communities and large areas of coastal wetlands that can provide essential hurricane protection," said Pat Forbes, OCD-DRU executive director. "These projects will assist thousands of citizens in St. Tammany Parish in a way that makes them more resilient and protects them from future storms."

"These investments represent a continued commitment to both protect and restore St. Tammany Parish," said CPRA Chairman Garret Graves. "As we work to complete a comprehensive restoration and protection plan with St. Tammany Parish, we expect exponential increases in future investments in this important region."

"Both of these projects make good common sense," said St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis. "This one segment of the South Slidell levee project will protect thousands of homes and save millions of dollars of future flood insurance claims. The Madisonville project will assist in rebuilding the approximate seven square miles of wetlands that St. Tammany has lost over the past six years. This is important to protect our homes and restore our ecology."

In Madisonville, the funds will be used to construct a new bulkhead that includes the installation of a steel sheet pile wall 660 feet long and 25 feet deep, a concrete cap and a150 cubic yards of select fill material. The construction of the new bulkhead will prevent further erosion to the now vulnerable wetlands; it will also protect a critical road, surrounding wetlands and habitat. The 650 residents of the town will benefit from a decrease in flooding and impassable streets, which led to the temporary closure of the town after hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

The construction of a T-wall in Slidell will prevent storm surge from traveling north of a newly-improved levee between Highway 11 and the Oak Harbor ring levee by closing the section and tying it into the existing pump station. The tie-in and T-wall structure will benefit the 4,381 residents in south Slidell by greatly reducing the risk of future property flood loss and hurricane-related injuries and deaths.

Nonstructural work can include the development of plans and program development that aid in hurricane and coastal protection and ensure the sustainability of Louisiana's coast. Structural work may include:

  • Installation of flood control structures;
  • Construction;
  • Improvement and fortification of levees;
  • Construction of marsh terraces; and
  • Repair and improvement of facilities that enhance marshland sustainability.

A total of $27.4 million has been allocated to the Sustainable Coastal Communities Program, which has been designed to assist the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority in the development of programs and projects to aid the sustainability and restoration of the coast with regard to damage caused by hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

The Disaster Recovery Unit within the Office of Community Development is dedicated to helping Louisiana's citizens recover from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. As the state's central point for hurricane recovery, the OCD-DRU manages the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history, working closely with local, state and federal partners to ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.