On Monday, Congress unveiled a spending bill that would fund the federal government through September. It includes $9 million for coastal restoration projects in Louisiana.
In an effort to help the state fight coastal land loss, the Army Corps of Engineers sometimes uses the mud it dredges from from navigation channels and the Mississippi River to rebuild marshes. It’s the Corps’ job to keep the river passable, so in these cases it reuses the material that it digs up.
The $9 million would go to an Army Corps program called the Louisiana Coastal Area program. It’s not clear yet what projects the Corps would use that money for, but it recently helped rebuild marshes in West Bay in lower Plaquemines Parish.
Money is short for the state’s $50 billion coastal master plan. So these projects could go a long way to support restoration efforts. That’s according to Elizabeth Mabry, a policy analyst with the Environmental Defense Fund.
She says the Trump administration and a unified congress have had a lot of people talking about big cuts.
“And so the demonstration of an ongoing commitment by the federal government to coastal Louisiana, no matter how small -- we think is still significant,” says Mabry.
Congress is set to vote on the bill this week.
Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Coypu Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and local listeners.