The public has until Aug. 8 to submit comments about a report and draft environmental impact statement for the Barataria Basin.
The Louisiana Coastal Area Barataria Basin Barrier Shoreline Restoration Draft Construction Report and Draft Environmental Impact Statement includes two portions of the congressionally approved plan. The work would help repair and rebuild barrier islands and coastal shorelines from Port Fourchon over to the western side of the Mississippi River delta.
The projects included in the report are the Caminada Headland — the shoreline just to the west of Grand Isle — and Shell Island located southwest of Empire in Plaquemines Parish.
According to the report, the tentatively selected option for restoration would create and restore about 880 acres of beaches and dunes, and 1,186 acres of marsh on Caminada Headland. In addition, 71,500 feet of sand fencing would be installed.
At Shell Island, the tentatively selective plan would involve building dunes and marshes behind the dunes.
The dunes would be built to six feet high and 189 feet wide, include 317 acres of shoreline and dune area, and 466 acres of marsh.
The total cost of the two projects is $446 million.
The project was authorized by Congress at a cost of $242 million. Any costs estimates that come in more than 125 percent of the originally authorized amounts would require a project to go back to Congress for reauthorization, according to the report.
While that report and reauthorization process moves forward, work on the Caminada Headland project is progressing, with the state considering three alternate designs, said Bren Haase, planning manager with the state Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration.
That design planning should be completed by this fall, which means construction could start next spring, he said. About $70 million is available from CIAP and the state, which could build from a third to a half of the project as outlined in the report, Haase said.
“No money has been appropriated for either project from Congress,” he said.
That appropriation process usually moves forward after a formal report — under public comment review now — is finalized.
Both projects are basically barrier island restoration projects which is something the state and federal partners have done before along other parts of the coast.
“We’ve got a lot of experience with it. We’ve done a good bit of that kind of work,” Haase said.
The corps and the state Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration will hold two meetings to gather public comment about the plan.
The open house will run from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with presentation and discussion from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the following dates and locations:
• July 26 at Woodland Plantation, 21997 La. 23, Port Sulphur.
• July 28 at South Lafourche High School, 16911 E. Main St., Galliano.