Baton Rouge -- Governor Bobby Jindal unveiled the "Louisiana Plan" to start restoring the state’s coastal areas, fisheries and oyster seed grounds from the devastating impact of the BP oil spill. The state will be submitting a list of projects to BP, the Department of Interior and NOAA, and the funding will come from a $1 billion agreement announced in April 2011 for early restoration of damaged natural resources resulting from the oil spill.

The “Louisiana Plan” of early restoration projects totals around $530 million. The state expects to receive a large portion of the $1 billion in early restoration funds because Louisiana sustained the brunt of oil spill damage along the Gulf.

The departments of the Interior and Commerce and BP announced a $1 billion agreement for early restoration of damaged natural resources resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill earlier this year. The $1 billion agreement includes:

  • $500 million split equally among the five Gulf states ($100M each)
  • $200 million split equally among the Department of the Interior (DoI) and NOAA
  • $300 million to be allocated by DoI and NOAA to states for early restoration projects

"LOUISIANA PLAN" PROJECTS

Oysters:
Oyster Reestablishment Program - $15 million. This project has two distinct parts:
1) The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will contract for the placement of cultch material onto selected public oyster seed grounds. Cultch material consists of limestone rock, crushed concrete, oyster shell and other similar material that, when placed in oyster spawning areas, provides a location and substrate for free floating oyster larvae to attach and grow into oysters.

The Department will place cultch material on approximately 855 acres of public oyster seed grounds throughout coastal Louisiana. The approximate cost of this portion of the project is $12 million.

The tentative cultch placement locations include Mississippi Sound (St. Bernard Parish), Lake Fortuna/Machias (St. Bernard Parish), Hackberry Bay (Jefferson/Lafourche Parish), Lake Chien (Terrebonne Parish), Sister Lake (Terrebonne Parish), and Calcasieu Lake (Cameron Parish).

This project employs approaches used by LDWF since 1917. Over the nearly 100 years of cultch planting, LDWF has placed over 1.5 million cubic yards of cultch material on nearly 30,000 acres. It provides positive results, usually in as little as 17 months postcultch placement.

2) Construction of hatchery improvements to help facilitate and expedite success of the cultch placement. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in partnership with Louisiana Sea Grant, will upgrade the existing Sea Grant oyster hatchery located at the LDWF facility on Grand Isle, Louisiana. The facility will be located next to the Wildlife and Fisheries Marine Lab on Grand Isle at a site owned by Louisiana State University.