Cameron to get $300,000 in coastal work funds

Published 5:32 am Monday, February 21, 2022

A coastal restoration effort in Cameron Parish is receiving $300,000 from the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s Conservation and Restoration Partnership fund, officials announced Friday.

The work being funded is the third phase of shoreline protection and oyster reef restoration at Calcasieu Lake and Sabine National Wildlife Refuge. It is being done by an environmental conservation nonprofit known as The Nature Conservancy.

The Cameron Parish project is one of six being financed by $1 million in matching dollars from the Conservation and Restoration Partnership fund for the 2022 fiscal year.

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Other projects include $300,000 for terracing at Port Fourchon in Lafourche Parish; $100,000 for phase three of Mud Lake area terraces; $199,360 for restoration at Woodlands Preserve; $60,000 for marsh restoration at Goose Point in St. Tammany Parish; and $40,650 for ridge habitat restoration in St. Bernard Parish.

Laurie Cormier, coastal zone manager for the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, said any money Southwest Louisiana receives for coastal restoration is a win for the region.

“It’s helping the fishing industry and, at the same time, following a strategy that implements multiple lines of defense,” she said. “When you protect Cameron Parish, you’re protecting Calcasieu. Every project that comes here is important, no matter how big or small.”

All six projects will provide more than 21,000 feet of terracing, 2,600 feet of living shoreline oyster reef, 10,700 vegetative plantings and conserve more than 800 acres of coastal forest, the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority said in a press release. The authority has allocated $11.6 million in matching funds for more than $27 million in coastal protection projects to date.

The authority’s annual plan for the 2023 fiscal year will include funding for next year’s Conservation and Restoration Partnership fund, officials said. Public comments on the annual plan are being accepted through Feb. 26. The plan will be presented to the CPRA board March 16 before heading to the state Legislature for final approval.