As a representative of the state Department of Natural Resources, I am compelled to ask you to set the record straight on the matter of the CIAP Program — Coastal Impact Assistance Program (“Mulch Madness” April 2). CIAP was indeed authorized by U.S. Congress in 2005. The six coastal states authorized to receive this federal funding were first required to prepare a plan to be approved for the funding. The Louisiana DNR moved swiftly after the guidelines were put in place to become the first of all these oil producing states to get its plan approved by the federal agency tasked with the administration of the program. The approval had to be granted by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service; it did so in November 2007, just four months ago. The MMS requires, in its next step of the process, that the “approved plan” states then go through a tedious grant application and review process before money is received for any project in the plan. The coastal forest conservation efforts that are a part of the CIAP include acquiring land rights, and this is a major step toward helping to bring our coastal swamps and forests back.
The CIAP plan is ready, and projects will be forthcoming, but the money from the federal program is just not in the bank yet. So, no, the $18.8 million was never “given” to the department.
When it comes to CIAP — Louisiana and DNR took its responsibilities seriously. We asked what will it take to achieve success in this new federal CIAP program and in getting the funding so that we can restore, improve and protect our land — and we responded by being the first state to meet all of the program requirements. Yes, it is nearly three years down the road, and the state is positioned in every way to begin its initiatives. And, yes, the funding will come to us in due time.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Google vs. Amazon in drone race; more deaths in Syria; Russia escalates Ukraine conflict and more national and international news for Friday, August 29, 2014.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.