PLAQUEMINES PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Plaquemines Parish President Amos Cormier defended his stance after learning that the state has taken samples at the site of a proposed coastal restoration project despite opposition.
Cormier was disappointed that Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) took those soil borings without permits. However, Governor John Bel Edwards said the samples were taken from private property and did not require a permit.
Cormier said CPRA applied for permits through the parish to begin drilling 51 soil borings back in April for the Mid-Barataria Diversion Project which were denied.
However, state police vehicles can be seen at the site, where samples are being taken.
The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion Project is a source of controversy between the state and parish.
The project would involve dumping 75,000 cubic feet of freshwater and sediment into Barataria Bay.
CPRA believes this would be the best solution for the state to rebuild the coast.
On the other side, Plaquemines Parish Government believes the $1.4 billion plan would cause an economic disaster by ruining fisheries and fishing communities.
They are also concerned about flooding, and lack of protection from hurricanes.
However, a Plaquemines Parish native has seen the coastline deterioration firsthand, and believes this restoration project is necessary.
"We engineered its destruction, we can engineer its rebirth. I believe that. I think we also have to get the oyster fishermen involved," Foster Creppel said.
"We want coastal restoration, and we want it now. Not 50 years from now. And so far, this CPRA experiment is just that. It's an experiment and by their own numbers it's not going to provide us with coastal protection now," Cormier said.
"That soil boring is taking place on private property. It's not taking place on the public property yet, but we're actually working with the parish government down there, the parish president, and the council people and all the folks of Plaquemines Parish. We have to move forward with this project," Governor John Bel Edwards said.
Edwards said the state worked with parish leaders on taking the samples from private lands.
Cormier says the Army Corps of Engineers will be conducting a review, and parish leaders will be looking at different options moving forward, and ask for funding from the Parish Council.
Following the publication of this story, Johnny Bradberry, Governor's Executive Assistant for Coastal Activities and CRPA Board Chariman, issued the following statement: