Congressman Charles Boustany has announced a grant Calcasieu Parish is receiving to restore habitat on Rabbit Island. His office has issued the following news release.
– U.S. Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., MD (R-South Louisiana) announced a $401,851 Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) grant awarded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) to Calcasieu Parish. This grant will fund the start of a marsh and pelican nesting habitat restoration project on Rabbit Island in Calcasieu Lake.
"Since coming to Congress, I have fought for the beneficial use of dredged materials in rebuilding South Louisiana's wetlands," Boustany said. "Rabbit Island and other restoration projects demonstrate we can use our own resources to restore our wetlands and develop habitats for wildlife across South Louisiana. As Louisiana's strongest advocate for coastal restoration, I spearheaded efforts to improve our coastal areas, including the Southwest Coastal Louisiana Study, the first comprehensive hurricane protection and coastal restoration plan in Vermilion, Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes. I will continue to lead this fight to protect our wetlands and rebuild our coast."
According to BOEMRE, the grant will fund the development portion of the Rabbit Island restoration project. This first phase includes planning, engineering and design, topographical studies, side scan sonar and magnetometer surveys, field investigations, permitting and final plans and specifications for the conservation initiative. The next phase will use dredge material from the Calcasieu Ship Channel to restore approximately 200 acres of pelican nesting habitat and marsh at Rabbit Island. In addition, 2,500 linear feet of limestone will be added to the west corner of Rabbit Island for shoreline protection.
"We are excited about this project as it helps to save wetlands, and encourages the brown pelican population," said Bryan Beam, Calcasieu Parish Administrator. "We appreciate the Congressman's effort to secure this grant funding."
The grant is part of the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP), which distributes funds from offshore mineral royalties to rebuild wetlands and coastal protections. The CIAP was authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 with Boustany's support.
Since taking office, Boustany has spearheaded recovery efforts from recent hurricanes and played a key role in rebuilding coastal wetlands and strengthening the coastline to protect South Louisiana's citizens and resources.