The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has committed $12.46 million in New Start Funding for the Morganza to the Gulf Hurricane Protection Project this year, marking the first federal investment in construction of the critical levee, lock and floodgate system in Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes.
The news was announced January 19 by members of our Louisiana Congressional delegation who have worked intently for years with the Morganza Action Coalition (MAC), Terrebonne and Lafourche levee districts, and the LA CPRA to secure funding for the project.
"New Start designation and funding are tremendous achievements for our region as we strive to complete the Morganza to the Gulf system and provide the storm protection that our 250,000 residents and businesses not only need, but deserve," said MAC President Jay Walker.
The $12.46 million in Corps funding this year is allocated mostly for the Humble Canal Floodgate and is just the beginning of what local leaders hope to be continued federal investment to construct the project to 100-year storm protection levels by 2035.
"We thank Senators Kennedy and Cassidy and Congressmen Scalise and Graves for successfully engaging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, members of Congress and the Office of Management and Budget to secure the New Start designation and funding," Walker said. "This tremendous achievement opens the door for continued federal support of Morganza and the eventual completion of this critical levee, lock and floodgate system to increase flood protection, preserve valuable wetlands, reduce flood insurance premiums, and sustain the economic and cultural assets of our entire region."
For many years, residents of Terrebonne and Lafourche have taxed themselves to build Morganza and other flood protection projects with no funding support from the federal government, despite this region’s significant contributions to our nation’s economic and energy security. In fact, since 1992, when a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Reconnaissance Study on Morganza began, local and state leaders have advocated for federal authorization and funding to build the 98-mile Morganza system stretching from western Terrebonne to eastern Lafourche.
In the meantime, the State of Louisiana and Terrebonne and Lafourche Parish governments and levee districts have committed over $1 billion to build levees and floodgates along the Morganza alignment as we waited for federal help.