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Abstract

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) was established to integrate programs for habitat restoration and infrastructure protection. The Authority has begun aligning the state’s coastal spending to reflect increasing public interest in the restoration of surface acreage. Concurrent with these changes, programmatic emphasis has been placed on rapid land building (RLB) techniques that rely on mechanical dredges and sediment conveyance pipelines to build new land. The apparent costs and benefits of this approach are increasingly compared in the scientific community to more traditional and natural methods of restoration, such as freshwater diversions (DIV). Given limited state and federal budgets for coastal restoration, advocates of these competing approaches have disagreed on a number of levels related to project efficacy. Petrolia et al. (2009) explored measures of cost-efficacy for RLB technologies and focused on sediment dredging costs associated with varying project scales. This research extends that analysis by developing a series of detailed generic models that incorporate time and risk considerations within a benefit-cost construct.

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