PA ID# 000-UCPOY-00; Louisiana Department of Natural Resources
PW ID# 1660, 1661, 1664 & 1668; Isle Dernieres Restoration Projects
Citation: FEMA-1437-DR-LA; Louisiana Department of Natural Resources
Isle Dernieres Restoration Projects; Project Worksheets 1660, 1661, 1664 and 1668
Cross-reference: Eligible Facility, Improved and Maintained Natural Feature
Summary: Hurricane Lili (FEMA-1437) made landfall in Louisiana on October 1, 2002, resulting in damages to Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) projects on four islands included in the Isle Dernieres Restoration Projects. FEMA prepared Project Worksheets (PWs) for these damaged projects as part of LDNRs request for Public Assistance funding under Category G. It was determined that the replacement of sand fill at these projects was ineligible because the projects did not have a formal maintenance program. LDNR submitted a first appeal of FEMAs determination indicating that the projects should be considered ecosystem restoration projects rather than be subject to the maintenance criteria for beach type features. The Applicant indicated that the projects do not have specific maintenance plans because the State does not want to dedicate large sums to fund specific projects; rather, LDNR monitors each project following storms that could affect the projects and allocates funds where they are most needed. The Regional Director denied the appeal clarifying that the basis of denial was the lack of a regular maintenance program necessary for the sand restoration to qualify as an improved and maintained natural feature. In a second appeal, LDNR asserts that the restoration projects should be considered eligible facilities on the basis that the barrier islands are maintained in order to reverse coastal erosion. As was stated in its first appeal, LDNR believes that these projects should not be considered as a beach, asserting that this is an ecosystem restoration project that was not meant to stabilize the island, but to allow for the islands to develop naturally.
Issues: Is this facility an eligible facility under Category G?
Findings: No, while certain improvements to the islands may have been constructed as part of the restoration project, the barrier islands are allowed to continue in their general natural state, and as such, are considered to essentially remain natural features. Accordingly, the Isle Dernieres Restoration Projects do not meet FEMAs definition of improved and maintained natural features, and as such, are not considered eligible facilities within FEMAs Public Assistance Program.
Rationale: 44 CFR § 206.201(c); a natural feature must be improved and maintained to be considered an eligible facility within the Public Assistance Program.