Matching funds will benefit Cameron project

$20M will be shared between six coastal parishes

Holly Beach in Cameron Parish. (American Press Archives)

Jamie Gates

Shoreline stabilization at Rockefeller Refuge in Cameron Parish is one of several projects that will get matching funds through a state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority program, officials announced Monday.

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council approved giving $20 million from the Parish Matching Opportunities Program to projects in six coastal parishes. The estimated $8.67 million Rockefeller shoreline project will get $6.67 million in matching funds from the Spill Impact Component of the RESTORE Act. The act requires the state, through the CPRA, to publish a plan that outlines the spending of spill impact dollars. The CPRA has agreed to distribute up to $100 million in spill impact funding to the parish matching program for 15 years.

According to a report, the Cameron Police Jury has pledged $2 million, which includes part of its RESTORE Act Direct Component funds. The parishes whose projects were chosen by the council will put up $6.1 million in matching funds.

The report states that the CPRA is also asking for just over $177,000 from the Spill Impact Component “to cover costs incurred by CPRA” to get the project done.

The shoreline stabilization project at Rockefeller Refuge is listed in the state’s 2017 coastal master plan that is updated every five years. According to the report, coastal erosion has caused the refuge to drop from 86,000 acres to about 76,000 acres. A coastline survey also showed the beach eroding by “233.5 feet during a 278 day span” from September 2015 to June 2016.

The project is expected to protect roughly 6,000 linear feet of shoreline at Rockefeller Refuge.

Engineering and design work on the Rockefeller shoreline project is expected to start in December. It will be sent out for bids by February 2019, with construction expected to be done by April 2020. 

The council also approved giving $4.59 million in matching funds to pay for engineering, design and construction of shoreline protection at Bayou Canal in Vermilion Parish. The project is expected to protect more than 10,000 linear feet of shoreline. Construction should start in May 2020 and wrap up by April 2021.