It’s been a busy year in the realm of moving coastal restoration and protection
forward. More than two years after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon,
which led to the deaths of 11 workers and spewed nearly 5 million barrels of crude into our Gulf waters, Congress passed the RESTORE Act. RESTORE stipulated that 80% of the Clean Water Act penalties to be levied against BP and other responsible parties will return to the impacted states for environmental and economic restoration.
This year, Louisiana also saw the beginning of construction of two Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Early Restoration projects. Under the Oil Pollution Act, NRDA is the process designed to assess damages to natural resources, assign responsibility for restoration to the parties responsible, and determine appropriate remedies to be fulfilled by the responsible parties. In April 2011, BP vowed to make a down payment of $1 billion
towards this process to be used for early restoration projects in the five impacted Gulf states.
In the wake of Katrina, the Louisiana Legislature passed Act 8 in 2006, which created the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and required it to develop a coastal master plan every five years. The first master plan was approved in 2007. The 2012 master plan, a much more specific roadmap for the coast, was unanimously approved by the legislature on May 22.
Bayou Grace was proud to connect local, regional and national constituents to all of these avenues for determining the future of restoration and protection of our coast. Through engaging local residents with the CPRA and NRDA trustees at several community dinners, prompting citizens to encourage their representatives to vote yes on RESTORE, and providing numerous opportunities to learn about and act on critical issues facing our coast, Bayou Grace remains committed to providing hope and sustainability for our bayou communities. Thank you for your continued support of this vital mission.