Gulf of Mexico
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LA - Nicholls State University Moves Forward on Plans for Center to Eroding Wetlands in Louisiana

The $14.5 million Coastal Center will be built on the Thibodaux, La., campus.

Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., will begin preliminary work next year on a $14.5 million Coastal Center that will serve as a hub for research on Louisiana's eroding wetlands.

Houma Today reports that the university expects to receive bids by year's end on groundwork for the 33,000-square-foot building. That work, financed by $2.5 million from the state coastal agency, is set to begin early next year.

“As the state university that is geographically closest to the coast, Nicholls is at the epicenter of our coastal land loss crisis and is ideally situated to host this Coastal Center and educate the next generation of leaders in this field,” says Chip Kline, chairman of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

Nicholls hopes the state Legislature will approve a proposed $12.5 million allocation in the state construction bill this year. If that happens, construction of the building could be complete by early 2023.

The building will enable scientists, students and others from across the state to collaborate on research and projects, with a primary focus on the Atchafalaya River and the Terrebonne Basin. The state coastal agency, the Water Institute of the Gulf, and Nicholls' biological sciences and geomatics departments are among those already committed to the work.

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