Planning for five restoration projects and construction of three additional ones were approved by a coastal group via a Jan. 22 electronic vote that allocated $73.3 million for the work.

The January meeting of the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act Task Force was canceled because of high water on the Mississippi River, so the electronic vote was held instead, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported in a news release.

The five projects approved for planning funding are Fritchie Marsh Creation and Terracing, Barataria Bay Rim Marsh Creation, Oyster Lake Marsh Creation and Nourishment, Caminada Headlands Back Barrier Marsh Creation part 2 and the East Leeville Marsh Creation and Nourishment.

The total cost for the planning and engineering is about $16.3 million.

The three projects approved for construction are the hydrologic restoration and planting in Lac Des Allemands Swamp, Cole’s Bayou Marsh Restoration and the Rockefeller Gulf Shoreline Stabilization — for a combined cost of $54.8 million.

In addition, the task force approved a demonstration project for Shoreline Protection, Preservation and Restoration for $2.2 million. The project will test out a concrete panel system to be used for shoreline protection and to trap sediment.

The task force was created in 1990 through a federal law that sets aside between $30 million and $80 million a year from excise tax on fishing equipment and small engine fuels, along with state money that flows through the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. The task force is made up of representatives from the state and five federal agencies — Environmental Protection Agency, Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Agriculture, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Corps.

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