Gulf of Mexico
Grand Isle looking west to Port Fourchon - Danial Carson /Shutterstock

Economist says coastal restoration projects would pump billions into southeast Louisiana's economy

Two projects planned by the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority will have a multibillion-dollar economic impact on southeast Louisiana, according to a report presented to the CPRA board Wednesday.

The CPRA expects to spend $1.8 billion over seven years on two controversial diversion projects that would redirect land-building sediment from the Mississippi River to Barataria Bay and Breton Bay.

“That’s a non-trivial sum of money, obviously,” said Loren Scott, an economist who studied the potential economic impact for the Restore the Mississippi Delta Campaign and The Environmental Defense Fund.

In the four-parish region that includes Plaquemines, St. Bernard, Orleans and Jefferson parishes, sales at businesses would increase by more than $3.1 billion while household earnings would increase more than $809 million, according to Scott’s projections.

A total of $36.7 million would be added to local government coffers, while the state would collect an extra $56.6 million, Scott says. While construction firms would be the primary beneficiaries of the increased sales, durable goods manufacturing, wholesale trade, nondurable goods manufacturing, and firms in the professional/technical/scientific sectors also would benefit.

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