Elmer’s Island and another local area are targeted for recreational improvements as compensation for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group, which is overseeing the oil spill settlement money, released a draft plan with four projects that would be built in areas that experienced “missed recreational opportunities” due to the spill.
The plan proposes over $3 million in construction for improvements on Elmer’s Island, as well as more than $1.8 million to go toward operation and maintenance costs of the island for 15 years.
The plan aims to improve parking and boat launches in multiple locations and construct a boardwalk from Elmer’s Island Road to the beach to improve access to the eastern end of the island.
The island access proposal is estimated to cost $6 million, and construction is estimated at 16 months.
The Elmer’s Island Wildlife Refuge was restored as a part of the Caminada Headland Restoration Project. The project cost more than $200 million, and Elmer’s Island was reopened to the public in the fall of 2016.
The project was paid for by state tax money and payments from BP from the 2010 oil spill. It aimed to protect Port Fourchon, the nearby oilfield hub, and people’s homes and businesses from storm surge by restoring more than 800 acres of shoreline and beach.
Also included in the draft, is a plan to construct five small parking lots with adjoining fishing piers along the two-laned Island Road that connects La. 665 to Isle de Jean Charles and a popular fishing destination in the Point-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area.
While not directly impacted by the oil spill, the wildlife management area closed for an extended time because of public safety concerns.
The parking lots would be 125 feet by 25 feet and would be paired with a fishing pier that would be 56 feet long and 8 feet wide.
The project is estimated to cost about $3 million.
Also proposed was construction of a science center and educational complex in Lake Charles at $7 million and $6 million worth of construction of artificial reefs.
The draft plan may be viewed online at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/LA-REC and the public may comment online until Jan. 19.
-- Staff Writer Holly Duchmann can be reached at 857-2205 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @holly_evamarie.
Posted on Fri, January 5, 2018
by By Holly Duchmann Daily Comet Staff Writer