Report will provide a framework for efficiently funding critical restoration projects
Restore or Retreat (ROR) has announced a partnership with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) to source expertise in areas of financing and economics to identify strategies to maximize the impact of near-term revenue streams for Coastal Master Plan projects. The project aims to create a financing structure for several specific Master Plan projects, develop repayment strategies from existing committed sources of revenue, as well as project economic benefits to the state and impacted communities by advancing restoration. As it launches the initiative, ROR is seeking
Statements of Interest and Qualifications (SIQ)
from qualified individuals and entities.
Over the next 15 years, billions of dollars will be available for coastal protection and restoration, largely from the
Deepwater Horizon global settlement as well as the increase in payments under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA). As revenue sources vary greatly in terms of specific requirements and timelines, CPRA is welcoming assistance in identifying opportunities to align project implementation schedules with appropriate revenue streams and, if advisable, financial instruments like bonds.
"The CPRA has done a tremendous job understanding the engineering challenges of the land loss crisis and devising a plan to address that crisis in the most strategic and sustainable way," said Restore or Retreat Executive Director Simone Maloz. "On the heels of the passage of the 2017 Coastal Master Plan, we want to transition from planning to large-scale implementation. To do that successfully, it will take the best utilization of financial instruments and economics to finance the nation's largest ecosystem restoration effort. For that reason, this project is a critical first step to success."
The Governor's Executive Assistant for Coastal Activities, Johnny Bradberry, concurred, "Given our current set of project priorities, we very well may be able to pay as we go. However, if we can achieve efficiencies from a land building or flood protection point of view by utilizing traditional bonds or newer financial options, we need to be in a position to understand those benefits."
Members of the CPR Financing Corporation welcomed this project as a crucial step forward. "Before the CPR Financing Corporation can approach the bond market, the State of Louisiana must first recommend that it is the appropriate course of action given its revenue streams and its project schedules," said Chett Chiasson, CPR Financing Corporation member and Executive Director of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission. "This type of financial expertise is just what the State needs to make the most out of the funding they have available."
The project will begin with a period to solicit interest and qualifications from financial services firms, consultant teams with financial expertise, and research institutions with finance experience. This phase will last until September 1. ROR and CPRA will then provide answers to interested firms regarding the needs of the state and the types of skills that will be required to submit proposals for the full scope of work. Restore or Retreat hopes to have results to share with CPRA in time to help inform the development of the FY 2019 Annual Plan.
Additionally, an informational session will be held at Greater New Orleans Inc. on
at 10:00 a.m. Official documents related to this project can be found online at
Restore or Retreat's website