Finance fishing boats

Oil Spill Recovery Money Funds Louisiana Coastal Projects But Will Disappear By 2032

This annual support has become essential to pay for Louisiana’s multi-billion dollar, multi-year plan to address alarming levels of land loss in southern parishes driven by climate change, subsidence, rising sea ​​level, hurricanes, levees built around the Mississippi River and other causes.

The projects contained in the master plan target both restoration works and flood risk reduction, such as water diversion, shoreline protection, creation of marshes, planting of vegetation and reconstruction of barrier islands.

Louisiana does not have all the money needed to cover the $50 billion budget estimate needed to fund the master plan. State surpluses, federal hurricane recovery dollars and other sources of revenue provide short injections of cash for work overseen by the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

But oil spill money remains the largest and most project-dedicated funding stream — at least until the impending expiration date.

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The Deepwater Horizon Settlement and Recovery Agreement involved multiple pots of money. Among the largest allocations, Louisiana received $5 billion in civil penalties for damage to natural resources, more than $1 billion in federal penalties under the Clean Water Act, and nearly $1.3 billion in criminal fines and plea agreements.

Prior to the influx of oil spill settlement dollars, Louisiana had three main sources of recurring cash to pay for coastal master plan projects: state and federal funding from oil production and gas and federal money from fuel taxes and excise taxes on fishing gear and boats. Each flow of funding can be balanced by external impacts that are beyond the control of the state, creating uncertainty for coastal efforts.