LAFAYETTE, LA – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) shared today preliminary findings from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – New Orleans District’s Hydrological & Hydraulic (H&H) analysis on the Vermilion River. The modeling results show that dredging the river would provide minimal flood risk reduction and cost between $100-150 million.
Congressman Higgins issued the following statement:
“Dredging the Vermilion River to its authorized parameters is not the silver bullet that many of us thought it would be. The Corps’ hydrology study is extensive and objective, analyzing data from over 500,000 modeling points across the watershed. While passionate arguments exist on both sides of the debate, we seek a data-driven approach to water management. Dredging, to some extent, could still be part of the comprehensive strategy. Ultimately, that’s up to our citizenry and local leaders to decide. However, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the people’s treasure, and we must pursue water management strategies that maximize both flood mitigation and cost-efficiency.
“The modeling data gained from the Vermilion River H&H analysis places our region ahead of the curve. Moving forward, Acadiana is better-positioned to capitalize on the $1.2 billion in HUD funding that’s being administered through the Louisiana Watershed Initiative. The Acadiana Planning Commission is working closely with local leaders to identify a combination of both hard and soft solutions that provide the greatest benefit for the region. My office will continue to facilitate those discussions as it is appropriate and necessary.”
Monique Boulet, Chief Executive Officer for the Acadiana Planning Commission, added:
“I want to thank Congressman Higgins, the Corps of Engineers and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for their leadership in bringing the data and the science forward on the Vermilion River dredge project. Infrastructure investment should always be based on the best practices and on science. We will produce significantly more effective results while saving millions in taxpayer dollars.”
Briefing information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – New Orleans District can be viewed here. A more extensive public briefing is being planned, and details will be shared as they become available.