Corps, Plaquemines Sign Agreement On Beneficial Use Of Dredged Material

The New Orleans Engineer District and the Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District signed a design agreement August 14 for the Louisiana Coastal Area Beneficial Use of Dredged Material (BUDMAT) program aimed at beneficially using sediment dredged from Tiger Pass in Venice, La.

The material will come from the Tiger Pass federally authorized navigation channel, a south-facing outlet of the Mississippi River about 10 miles upriver from Southwest Pass. The Corps estimates the design cost to be $1.6 million, with the cost share set at 75 percent federal and 25 percent non-federal sponsor. Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District, the non-federal sponsor, will contribute up to $410,000 of the design cost.

The Corps anticipates creating about 150 acres of new habitat with the dredged material.

The BUDMAT program allows non-federal agencies like the Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District to partner with the Corps to beneficially use material that otherwise might not have been used to create new land or help restore the state’s coastal landscape.

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Sandy Sanders, executive director of the port, said the partnership, which benefits both navigation and coastal restoration, fits perfectly within the mission of the port.

“Our parish is facing tough economic times right now, and we are pleased the port can provide these funds so that vital dredging and restoration projects can continue,” Sanders said.

Other leaders from Plaquemines Parish praised both agencies for working together for the greater good.

“We appreciate the port and Corps stepping up and working together to maximize and revolutionize the economy in our parish,” said Kirk Lepine, president of Plaquemines Parish. “We thank them both for their unwavering support, now and into the future.”

State Rep. Chris Leopold, who represents Plaquemines Parish, added his appreciation for the port “collaborating with the local and federal government to save our coast and enhance waterborne commerce in our parish.”

Once the design work is complete, the project will await funding from Congress.