BATON ROUGE, La. – Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser announced today, Feb. 7, in a press release that the Louisiana Office of Cultural Development’s Division of Historic Preservation is receiving $1,013,757 in federal, supplemental assistance grants through the Historic Preservation Fund from the National Park Service. These grants will help in historic preservation projects related to hurricane recovery efforts following hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017, and are aimed at supporting the preservation repair, recovery, and resilience of properties listed in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register. The National Park Service awarded these grants to support necessary compliance under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, surveys of historic resources to determine eligibility and the degree of damage, administration of the grants, and preparedness for future disasters.

“Following Harvey, during cursory assessments of the impacted communities and resources in Louisiana, we found the cultural resources mapping and surveys to be outdated, slowing down the recovery process," said Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser. "So we worked to secure this federal funding to help conduct further assessments of our damaged communities to update the mapping and surveys, help identify vulnerable properties, and assist in future disaster response efforts."

The surveys will be completed in accordance with the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation Survey Guidelines. Data collected in the field will include building age, architectural style and form and historic significance. Additionally, a damage assessment will be completed for each structure, and an effort will be made to identify whether the damage can be directly related to Hurricane Harvey. Once the data has been reviewed, it will be added to the existing Historic Resource Inventory and posted on our public web map. This information may be used by emergency responders, researchers, or other consultants as a useful tool to assess damage from Hurricane Harvey, as well as to identify vulnerable properties and assist with future disaster response efforts.

Hurricane Harvey’s impacts resulted in damages in a number of Louisiana parishes. Public outreach and assessment of damages will continue in the nine parishes showing the greatest need for public assistance in the aftermath of the storm. Those parishes are Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, St. Charles, and Vernon. Once those parishes are assessed, work would then move to the 11 other parishes affected. Those parishes are Acadia, Assumption, DeSoto, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Plaquemines, Rapides, St. Mary, and Vermilion.

Signed into law on Sept. 28, 1976, the Historic Preservation Fund utilizes a portion of royalties paid by energy companies for the drilling of natural gas and oil on the Outer Continental Shelf to provide assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars. For more information on the grant announcement, visit the National Park Service website.