Congressman Graves: Statement about the West Shore Hurricane Protection Project
Washington, DC – Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana) made the following statement about today’s announcement on the West Shore Hurricane Protection Project:
“In 2016 we passed congressional authorization for the 42-year overdue, much needed, highly anticipated West Shore Hurricane Protection Project. In 2018 we secured $760 million to complete the project in 5 years or less. Today’s commitment by the state, Pontchartrain Levee District, St. John the Baptist Parish, and St. James Parish to purchase the property needed to construct the levee means this project is truly underway. People in the River Parishes are finally going to get the flood protection they deserve. The train, as the saying goes, is leaving the station.
Today’s funding is 6% of the overall project, but it is a critical first step. The plan also positions the state to take a similar, aggressive, positive step on another critical flood project in the Amite River Basin. We secured $255 million for the East Baton Rouge Parish Flood Control Project – not to be confused with the nearly $400 million Comite River Diversion Canal – which will improve drainage among five major East Baton Rouge watersheds. Today’s move means the state can take a similar bold step by converting state funds previously earmarked for an Amite Basin flood project for another Amite Basin flood project, while achieving an approximately $8 million savings in the process. Kudeauxs!
We commend the State, Pontchartrain Levee District, St. John the Baptist Parish, St. James Parish, and St. Charles Parish for their leadership in leveraging state funds to advance the West Shore Project, and for the State’s leadership in potentially leveraging another critical flood project in the Amite River Basin.”
The West Shore Hurricane Protection Project languished for more than four decades until Congressman Graves reinitiated progress: achieving project authorization with 2016 legislation and securing funding for it in 2018 as part of one of the largest flood protection investments in Louisiana history -- nearly $3 billion in federal funding for priority flood and hurricane protection projects across south Louisiana.