NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the Chief of Engineers’ Report for the "Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study" recommending construction of the restoration plan upon identification of a non-federal cost share sponsor.
The Corps of Engineers worked diligently in collaboration with the State of Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), other local governmental entities, resource agencies, environmental organizations, landowners and interested citizens to produce a plan to restore the critical Lake Borgne and environs ecosystem. The MRGO Ecosystem Restoration Chief of Engineers’ Report recommends construction of the Federally Identified Plan, which would restore over 57,000 acres of important wetland and coastal habitat areas at a total cost of $3 billion. This plan is implementable in a tiered sequence consisting of numerous smaller elements.
Because of the critical importance of this project, the Corps took the unusual step to execute a full study notwithstanding the absence of an identified sponsor willing to cost share implementation at 65% federal 35% non-federal. Federal law, Section 103 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, as amended, requires that all coastal restoration projects have a willing, non-federal cost share sponsor to implement the project. At this time, such a cost-share sponsor has not been identified. Once such a cost share sponsor is identified, the Corps can proceed to implement elements of the plan subject to availability of funds.
The Corps of Engineers is grateful to its many partners for helping to develop this comprehensive restoration plan, especially Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. The Corps remains committed to collaborating with all of its partners in the restoration of coastal Louisiana, and looks forward to having a non-federal sponsor join us in the execution of the MRGO Ecosystem Restoration Plan.
The signed Chief of Engineers Report, along with the MRGO Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study Report and Final Environmental Impact Statement are available on www.mrgo.gov .
Release no. 12-059