Dock Information for Commercial Fishermen

 

State of Louisiana Approves $2.8 Million for Fisheries Infrastructure Project in Grand Isle
Nov. 15, 2010

BATON ROUGE, La. - The state of Louisiana has approved $2.8 million in disaster recovery funding for the Grand Isle Port Commission to purchase and make improvements to the Estay Shrimp facility in Grand Isle, giving the Port Commission access to Community Development Block Grant money needed to implement the project.

This project illustrates how state and local partners working together can assure forward momentum in disaster recovery. The state originally awarded $2 million in Hurricane Katrina funding for the purchase, but more was needed to accomplish the full scope of the project. In response, the Town of Grand Isle dedicated $800,000 from their allocation of recovery funds from hurricanes Gustav and Ike, and the Port Commission supplied $28,000 in supplemental funding, thus achieving the total project cost of $2,828,000.

Paul Rainwater, commissioner of the Division of Administration, said, "This is an important fisheries project for Louisiana's seafood industry that will help the coastal community of Grand Isle preserve a traditional working waterfront for public and private use. Not only will it boost the recovery of a fishing infrastructure that was damaged by Hurricane Katrina, but in light of the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it is an extremely critical project for our commercial shrimpers. The Estay purchase provides an excellent example of state and local partners coming together to accomplish our recovery goals. In addition, being publically owned during future storm events will ensure this facility is eligible for FEMA public assistance funding."

Prior to Katrina, the Estay facility on Bayou Rigaud was one of the last two surviving shrimp unloading and docking facilities on Grand Isle. Shuttered since the storm, the 9.75-acre property is a prime waterfront location behind an existing breakwater that provides protection against tropical storm waves and northern weather fronts. A safe harbor for commercial vessels, the site is a familiar location that is well-known to shrimpers.

Providing quick access to Barataria Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is an ideal facility for infrastructure improvements that will fortify the physical and economic conditions of the Grand Isle fishing industry. The size of this property will allow for current recovery needs and position the Port Commission and the town to plan for future increases in dock space, as well as provide opportunities for larger commercial, recreational and handicap-accessible facilities to boost economic recovery on the island.

Multipurpose improvements will consist of medium and large docking slips for harborage of both commercial and recreational vessels; an 8-foot deep boat slip; a sustainable commercial seafood dock to service the area's commercial fisheries fleet; roadway access and ample vehicle parking areas. In addition to providing dockage for approximately 50 commercial shrimp trawlers, an Americans with Disabilities Act-approved handicap-accessible fishing area will be constructed as part of the project.

The Fisheries Infrastructure program was created by the state's OCD-DRU to help restore and replace the fisheries infrastructure devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In 2008, the federal department of Housing and Urban Development approved the state's request to allocate $19 million in CDBG dollars to the program. Projects were selected for funding based on expected positive impacts to fisheries infrastructure. In 2009, following hurricanes Gustav and Ike, the Town of Grand Isle was allocated $800,000 of CDBG dollars to address commercial fishery related recovery needs on the island.

The Disaster Recovery Unit within the Office of Community Development is dedicated to helping Louisiana's citizens recover from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. As the state's central point for hurricane recovery, the OCD-DRU manages the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history, working closely with local, state and federal partners to ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.