NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A total of 13 coastal protection projects, all costing a half billion dollars, are underway in St. Bernard Parish, all were funded mostly by the BP Oil Spill settlement.

On Friday, State Senator Sharon Hewitt joined federal and local partners to tout a number of the coastal restoration projects happening in the parish.

“Such a big part of the coastal restoration and plan going forward is in the southeastern part of our state, and St. Bernard is ground zero for that work,” said Senator Hewitt.

The group toured the marsh creation along the southern rim of Lake Borne. It is designed to create almost 300 acres of new land using sediment dredged from the lake,”

“This is the largest coastal restoration project that the state of Louisiana has implemented to date. That natural buffer, our wetlands, our marshland, provides protection against hurricanes protections. The levee systems the surge barriers, the things like that are protecting us so that natural buffer is protecting those systems that protect us,” said Chip Kline, CPRA Board Chairman.

The half-billion dollar projects also include the rehabilitation of multiple existing pump stations. Parish President Guy McInnis was adamant about the billions being spent on the parish’s coast equaling jobs for residents.

“We’re partnering with Nunez Community College and the workforce development program will allow our children in future years to work on the coast. These projects are going to be going on for decades, and we need to make sure that our citizens are in positions to get these jobs,” said Parish President McInnis.

The restoration project in Lake Borne is said to be the largest of all 14 projects, coming in with a cost of over 100 million dollars, and all officials at the meeting highlighted the fact that work was being done.

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