The Southwest Coastal Louisiana project proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will provide non-structural hurricane and storm surge damage risk reduction measures, as well as ecosystem restoration features, in the 4,700 square mile study area located in Calcasieu, Cameron, and Vermilion Parishes in southwest Louisiana.
Southwest Coastal Louisiana communities are at increasing risk to storm surge flooding due to wetland loss, relative sea level rise, and land subsidence. The purpose of this project is to provide hurricane and storm damage risk reduction to reduce the risk of flood damages caused by hurricane and storm surges.
The ecosystem-related purpose of the study is to significantly restore environmental conditions for the Chenier Plain ecosystem as more fully described in the Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration Study (2004). The study recommends a variety of ecosystem restoration features including marsh restoration, shoreline stabilization/protection, and chenier reforestation.
Proposed measures of the non-structural plan include residential structure elevation, flood proofing, and the acquisition of qualifying structures to reduce potential damages from future tropical storms and hurricanes.
The 45-day public comment period for the draft report will run from 20 March 2015 until 4 May 2015. Additional feasibility work will be completed on engineering, cost estimates, environmental, economic, real estate and construction needs of the plan. Review results and feasibility details will be included in a final report that will be made available for state and agency and public review before the Chief of Engineers makes a final project recommendation.
The IEPR became avaliable July 29, 2015 and is avaliable here. The Chief of Engineers' response to the independent panel's peer review report is currently under development, and will be posted and distributed within 10 days of completion and signature.