Hot Topic: Louisiana 2019 Flood Disaster Spend Plan
In 2019, extensive freshwater flooding caused significant impacts to coastal resources including oysters, shrimp, blue crab, and finfish. The economic impact of this flood disaster to Louisiana’s fishing industry was estimated at approximately $338 million, which included $177 million in current losses and $161 million in projected future losses.
During the 2019-2020 federal fiscal year, Congress appropriated a total of $165 million for declared fisheries disasters in the United States. NOAA has allocated $58,284,841 of this funding to Louisiana. To receive this funding, LDWF must submit a spend plan to NOAA for approval. With input from various stakeholders, LDWF developed a draft spend plan detailing how the funding will be administered and distributed over 6 years. The draft plan is available online and further describes the following funding categories:
- Equipment Reimbursement Granst: $23,950,000
- Public Seed Ground Cultch Plants: $4,000,000
- Alternative Oyster Culture Enhancement Grants: $3,000,000
- Research and Development of Low-salinity Tolerant Oysters: $5,000,000
- Commercial and Charter Vessel Access Grants: $4,000,000
- Habitat and Hydrologic Improvement Grants: $13,250,000
- Marine Aquaculture Grants: $3,000,000
- Total: $56,200,000
In addition, approximately 3.5% ($2,084,841) of the funding will be allocated to cover administrative costs incurred by LDWF associated with this 6-year plan. LDWF costs include pre-award spend plan development, general administrative tasks, program development, industry outreach and assistance, application processing, and monitoring.
Submit Your Comments on the Plan
LDWF will assemble and consider comments submitted by August 15, 2021, and will finalize the plan document for submission to NOAA later this year.