Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Begins Strategic Restoration Planning for Barataria Basin
The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group is conducting strategic restoration planning. We will be considering two phases of restoration. The first phase will prepare a strategic restoration plan for Louisiana’s Barataria Basin. The second plan will initiate restoration planning for projects identified in the phase 1 plan, potentially including the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion.
Phase 1 Plan
The Barataria Basin strategic restoration plan will consider identifying habitat restoration components of the Louisiana Draft 2017 Coastal Master Plan to restore wetland, coastal, and nearshore habitat in Barataria Basin. We will consider whether a combination of these habitat restoration projects would meet the Trustees’ intent to address ecosystem-level injuries caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The goal is to restore and conserve wetland, coastal, and nearshore habitat resources and compensate for loss of those resources. Any projects—or suites of projects—included in the strategic restoration plan will be analyzed in subsequent restoration plans and environmental impact analyses.
Phase 2 Plan
This plan will analyze projects identified in the phase 1 plan. It will also analyze the potential for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion to restore ecosystem and wetland, coastal, and nearshore habitat resources and services in Barataria Basin. We are evaluating whether the Mid-Barataria sediment diversion is an appropriate project for restoring injuries from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We anticipate that decision will be informed by the results of the Phase 1 Plan. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing a draft Environmental Impact Statement to inform decision-making on requests for permits and permissions for the diversion project. To capitalize on that ongoing review, we are requesting public comment on the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS can support our restoration planning decisions related to the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion.
The details of the public comment process are yet to be determined. Please check back for more information.