Edwards To Send Millions In Surplus To State’s Coastal Program
Governor John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday that he plans to put some of the state’s surplus money toward the coastal program, but first needs approval from state officials.
The state of Louisiana ended fiscal year 2018 with an extra $300 million. At an event on Wednesday, Edwards said he plans to dedicate $55 million of that extra cash to coastal restoration and protection, but legally can’t until state officials recognize the funds.
Edwards said about $30 million will be used to help fund the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain project -- an 18 mile hurricane protection levee that will protect St. John the Baptist, St. James, and St. Charles Parishes from storm surge in Lake Pontchartrain. $15 million will go toward the state’s coastal trust fund, and $10 million will be used to enhance restoration projects that are already underway.
Edwards touted his decision as proof of his dedication to the coast. “This action show that I’m living up to the pledge that I made to the people of Louisiana,” he said, “that dollars within the coastal trust fund will be used for their intended purpose along the coast for restoration and protection projects.”
Edwards also highlighted the fact that the state would be spending close to $300 million on hurricane protection projects over the next three years. That money comes from oil and gas revenues, under a federal law known as the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA).
Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Foundation for Louisiana, and local listeners.