MANDEVILLE, La. (WGNO) — President Cooper’s initiative to clear scenic waterways of debris and enhance drainage capabilities is expected to be introduced by the Parish Council at its regular meeting Thursday night.

St. Tammany Parish Government requested federal aid from the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) Assistance for Natural Disasters to assist with the removal of debris in waterways caused by Hurricane Ida. The objective of the program is to help relieve threats to life and property caused by disaster-caused impairments to watersheds.

“We are always looking for ways to bring federal and state tax dollars home to benefit the people of St. Tammany Parish,” said President Cooper. “This project, with Council approval and only 10% local funding, will allow us to remove Hurricane Ida-related debris from our waterways, and become even better prepared for future hurricane seasons.”

Phase 1 of the Waterway Debris Removal is currently pending federal and state environmental permit approvals and the current Budget Amendment presented to the Parish Council. The subsequent removal of the debris will be performed by a contractor through the disaster debris removal contract managed by the Department of Public Works.

The cost share assistance under the EWP is 90% federal and 10% local. The $12,638,018.50 project will include $2,579,187.50 of Parish funds from the Drainage Maintenance Capital Project Fund, and $10,058,831.00 from Grant funds.

St. Tammany Parish Government’s request for assistance to NRCS was focused on major and natural waterways.

The Parish Council will meet Thursday, June 2, 2022 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers on Koop Drive in Mandeville.