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Congressman Garret Graves

Representing the 6th District of Louisiana

Graves Calls Water Institute "Game Changer" After Funding Announcement

October 21, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC - The Office of Gulf Coast Restoration in the Department of the Treasury this week announced plans to award over $4 million to the Water Institute of the Gulf through the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA).  These funds are part of the Center of Excellence program established by the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act). 

“The Water Institute is a game changer in Louisiana’s battle against coastal erosion.  The Center of Excellence designation and initial $4 million in research and development funding will provide key resources to help guide our oil spill and other investments to advance the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan and resilience of our communities and ecosystem.  We established the Water Institute to help pull together all of the extensive expertise and lessons learned across South Louisiana.  The Institute’s concentration of expertise across public, private, not for profit and academic coastal sectors will help accelerate our progress through the development of innovative solutions for the dynamic challenges along the coast.  It will help ensure decisions are based upon the best science rather than politics,” said U.S. Rep. Garret Graves (R – South Louisiana).  

The center of excellence will focus its work on science, technology, and monitoring relating to four of the five eligible RESTORE Act disciplines that include:
-    Coastal and deltaic sustainability, restoration, and protection 
-    Coastal fisheries and wildlife ecosystem research and monitoring in the Gulf Coast Region
-    Sustainable, resilient growth and economic development in the Gulf Coast Region
-    Comprehensive observation, monitoring, and mapping of the Gulf of Mexico

Louisiana’s Centers of Excellence Research Grant of $4,036,238 totals its currently available allocation of the proceeds received from the settlement between Transocean and the Department of Justice arising from Deepwater Horizon oil spill civil penalties paid after July 6, 2012 under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund interest earnings.  Significantly more funding are expected for the Water Institute as a result of the recent settlement announcement associated with BP’s role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster.