Funded Research: RFP2 Cycle

On July 22, 2021, The RESTORE Act Center of Excellence for Louisiana announced almost $2.3 million in funding through the second RFP process to support eight two-year projects including four Graduate Studentship Awards and four Research Awards. All project awards are expected to be executed in October, 2021 with a start date of September 1, 2021. The details of those awards, results, reports, and data as well as how this research can inform Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration’s Coastal Master Pan will be routinely updated below. For information about upcoming grant opportunities, visit our Research Grants page.


Available data

All data, collected data products, and metadata resulting from RFP2 projects will be publicly available within one year after project completion. Data will be available in a regional or national digital repository or data center (i.e., National Centers for Environmental Information, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, DataOne Dash) that promotes discovery and long-term preservation.


Publications

All publications are available on the LA-COE Google Scholar page.


Resources for RFP2 Research Subrecipents

Resources for RFP2 research subrecipients, including a quick reference guide, and instructions for for data management best practices are available here.

RESEARCH AWARDS


Ecological and social ridge dynamics in the Barataria-Terrebonne Basins

$495,368

PI: Jonathan Willis, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Nicholls State University

Co-Investigators: Chris Bonvillain, Nicholls State University; Giovanna McClenachan, Nicholls State University; Quenton Fontenot, Nicholls State University; Solomon David, Nicholls State University; Gary LaFleur, Nicholls State University; Justine Whitaker, Nicholls State University; Shana Walton, Nicholls State University; Balaji Ramachandran, Nicholls State University

This project will develop data-driven models for ecological roles, processes, and trajectories of restored ridges, natural ridges, and spoil banks as well as examine relevant socio-ecological dynamics of ridge landforms in coastal zone of the Barataria-Terrebonne estuary of southeastern Louisiana. The human dimensions portion of the work will include examining the impact of event-driven environmental changes such as storms on communities’ stability and sustainability. The goal is to determine physical/habitat characteristics and dynamics of natural and restored ridges and assess the human activity dynamics of ridge communities.



Quantifying marsh edge erodibility as a function of salinity and water chemistry, and assessing possible effects of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in Barataria Bay

$497,849

PI: Giulio Mariotti, Associate Professor, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University

Co-Investigators: Tracy Quirk, Louisiana State University; Dubravko Justic, Louisiana State University; Haosheng Huang, Louisiana State University

The research will use a combination of hydrodynamic and biochemistry modeling, intensive field studies, and landscape modeling to evaluate the role of salinity and river inputs in influencing marsh edge erosion. Results will include a marsh edge erosion model to predict marsh loss 50 to 100 years in the future under different salinity and water chemistry scenarios, with emphasis on nutrient loading from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.



Subsurface stratigraphic controls on subsidence and carbon sequestration in Mississippi Delta diversion receiving basins

$499,675

PI: Carol Wilson, Assistant Professor, Department of Geology & Geophysics, Louisiana State University

Co-Investigators: Kehui Xu, Louisiana State University; Torbjörn Tornqvist, Tulane University; Elizabeth Chamberlain, Wageningen University; Hampton Peele, Louisiana Geological Society

This work will investigate and improve understanding of the heterogeneous geological framework that drives differential consolidation rates, and thus subsidence and organic matter sequestration in the delta. These geological conditions will be added to future modeling and mitigation work using a suite of observational field and laboratory analyses. Research will include analyses within marsh, bay, and paleochannel sub-environments in Barataria Basin of southeast Louisiana.



Past and future migration in coastal Louisiana: Modeling the impact of flood exposure and economic change with microdata on households and businesses

$426,544

PI: Robert Habans, Economist, The Data Center of Southeast Louisiana

Co-Investigators: Thomas Douthat, Louisiana State University; Rachelle Trahan, Capital Region Planning Commission; Li-Hsiang Lin, Louisiana State University

This study will explore the relationship between discrete flood events and cumulative risk, changing locations of jobs and businesses, and household migration in coastal Louisiana. The team will develop a modeling approach to assess storm and flood-related migration that leverages new sources of business and residential microdata to support population and asset growth scenarios associated with the Coastal Louisiana Risk Assessment (CLARA) model.


Graduate Studentship Awards


Projecting 50 years of relative sea-level rise in coastal Louisiana ($99,910)

$99,910

Advising Faculty: Torbjörn Törnqvist, Professor, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Tulane University

This research will build on recent advances in the understanding of the drivers and rates of subsidence in coastal Louisiana by quantifying rates and their spatial variability as well as conducting an assessment of geocentric sea-level rise. The goal is to reduce uncertainties in estimates of present-day and future projections of relative sea-level rise.



Dynamics of Nitrogen and Phosphorous cycling across Barataria Basin

$91,798

Advising Faculty: John White, Professor, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University

This project will assess the nitrogen and phosphorus cycling in Barataria Basin especially as it relates to various benthic substrates that have varying organic matter content, extractable nutrients and microbial activity that can affect surface water quality. Data from this research can improve ecosystem models that are being used for freshwater diversions and for proposed sediment diversions, specifically with water quality and nutrient loading predictions.



Improving the design and construction practice of marsh creation projects

$95,760

Advising Faculty: Celalettin Ozdemir, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Louisiana State University

Marsh creation projects are prioritized in the 2017 and 2023 Coastal Master Plans for Louisiana. The proposed study aims at addressing knowledge gaps in the design and construction practice of marsh creation projects by using integrated field data collection, laboratory experimentation, and numerical modeling to better understand consolidation and transport properties of the dredge material.



Patch-scale effects of acute saltwater intrusion on carbon fluxes in a simulated coastal freshwater marsh environment

$86,319

Advising Faculty: Jorge Villa, Assistant Professor, School of Geosciences, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

This project aims to evaluate the effects of acute saltwater intrusion events on carbon fluxes and elevation in wetland areas dominated by two common upper estuary freshwater plants. Results of this work could help inform the morphology model used in Integrated Compartment Model (ICM), and suggest how these wetland species are influencing carbon cycling, which can be used in evaluating strategies in the Coastal Master Plan.