SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has announced that $61.6 million in federal funding has been allotted for 16 flood risk reduction projects throughout the state as part of the Watershed Projects Grant Program: Local and Regional - Round 1.
Round 1 of the funding opportunity is part of the state’s Action Plan to spend $1.2 billion in federal Community Development Block Grant Mitigation funds.
Caddo Parish was selected as one out of the 16 awarded projects. The parish will receive $5.36 million for the Ockley Basin storage project.
“Last week, heavy rains once again inundated flood-weary communities throughout Louisiana, underscoring our state’s increasing flood risk and urgent need for better flood risk reduction. Today, I’m heartened to announce relief is on the way,” Gov. Edwards said. “Through the Louisiana Watershed Initiative, we are working to fight flooding on a large scale with immediate and long-term solutions. These projects move us in the right direction.”
The funding announcement follows the state’s March award of $163 million for 15 projects and programs designed to address similar mitigation needs throughout the state. Combined, the awards total $224 million awarded to 31 flood mitigation projects throughout Louisiana since the state received $1.2 billion in federal mitigation funding in September.
The state has also directed more than $100 million to buyout and elevation programs, and an early launch of Round 2 as part of a Design Support Pilot. The Design Support Pilot will capitalize on opportunities associated with applications submitted to Round 1, where capacity or technical difficulties created hardship, and where investment in design support can enhance local project effectiveness.
Members of the five state agencies represented on the Council on Watershed Management scored the Round 1 projects through a competitive process based on evaluation and scoring criteria, and program policies and procedures.
Future rounds of the Watershed Projects Grant Program will benefit from predictive watershed modeling tools in development and enhanced data collection capabilities, as part of the Watershed Monitoring, Mapping and Modeling Program, as well as regional watershed-based floodplain management planning, as part of the Regional Capacity Building Program.