Garret Graves

10/14/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/14/2021 10:18

Graves Statement on Second Bayou Manchac Agreement Reached

BATON ROUGE, LA - U.S. Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana) issued the following statement after East Baton Rouge (EBR) Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and Iberville Parish President Mitchell Ourso announced their recommendation to improve drainage along Bayou Manchac at the border of the two parishes. The plan to clear and snag Bayou Manchac from Highway 30 to the Alligator Bayou Flood Control Gate was introduced to the Baton Rouge Metro Council.

Recently, Broome and Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment announced a similar recommendation for the Ascension portion of Bayou Manchac. This week's announced plan will focus on clearing the East Baton Rouge portion.

"There have been a lot of fights about who should take on the water and flood. Instead, efforts need to be focused on getting the water out and these announcements are the first steps in that process. We believe our homes, businesses and families should not be flooding. Rather than fighting, we're working with the parishes on solutions like the ones announced in East Baton Rouge, Ascension and Iberville. We appreciate our three parish leaders taking this first step and we look forward to more announcements over the coming months. We are committed to helping direct funding toward improved drainage of the Manchac, Alligator Bayou, and Spanish Lake basin," Graves said.

Utilizing federal funding opportunities, information from constituents, and ideas from discussions will move us toward solutions faster.

On October 4, 2021, Graves convened Ascension Parish Pres. Clint Cointment, EBR Mayor-President. Sharon Weston Broome, Iberville Parish President Mitchell Ourso, State Senator Eddie Lambert, State Representative Tony Bacala, Councilman Corey Orgeron and Prairieville homeowner associations to discuss the ongoing clearing and snagging and future plans.

On July 7, 2021, Graves convened stakeholders to discuss regional solutions in the Bayou Manchac Watershed. Graves joined together with Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment, Iberville Parish President Mitchell Ourso, City of St. Gabriel Mayor Lionel Johnson, officials from Baton Rouge, and several other drainage leaders from the region.

Recently, more funding was announced for Louisiana flood protection projects. Benefitting Baton Rouge:

  • $8.5 million to acquire the lowlands of Bayou Duplantier for flood retention
  • $5.7 million to create retention for Ward Creek
  • $4.7 million for Cypress Bayou green infrastructure in East Baton Rouge Parish
  • $5 million to restore the University Lakes and reduce flood risk

Overall, Graves has secured over $3 billion - half to clear the backlog of legacy flood projects and half to provide future protection against flood risks in South Louisiana. The State-run Louisiana Watershed Initiative has recently announced tranches of projects across Louisiana that are funded by the Graves-secured $1.2 billion federal Community Development Block Grant for Louisiana flood mitigation.

After the 2016 Flood, Graves secured over $3 billion in federal funding to protect our homes, businesses, law enforcement, livelihoods, schools and the communities of South Louisiana. The funds advance flood protection, mitigation and resiliency, including:

  • $50 million secured for Livingston Parish drainage projects
  • $760 million secured for the West Shore Project
  • $400 million secured for the Comite Diversion Project
  • $255 million East Baton Rouge Flood Control Project
  • $350 million for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding

For more information about these projects and funding, click here.

The East Baton Rouge Metro Council also recently approved a $20 million budget for drainage projects from federal funding.