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Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP)

What is CIAP?

CIAP stands for Coastal Impact Assistance Program.  This federal program was established in Section 384 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  The CIAP website (www.mms.gov/offshore/ciapmain.htm) describes the basic purpose of the program thusly:

 

"...authorizes funds to be distributed to Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas producing States to mitigate the impacts of OCS oil and gas production."

 

Authorized uses of CIAP funds include:

  • Projects and activities for the purposes of coastal protection, including conservation, coastal restoration, hurricane protection, and infrastructure directly affected by coastal wetland losses.

  • Mitigation of damage to fish, wildlife, or natural resources.

  • Implementation of a federally-approved marine, coastal, or comprehensive conservation management plan.

  • Mitigation of the impact of outer Continental Shelf activities through the funding of onshore infrastructure projects

The uses listed above are assumed to be subject first and foremost to the primary mission statement noted in bold above.

 

The CIAP program was specifically created to help coastal communities which are impacted by offshore drilling in environmental and other ways.  For example, communities which host submerged gas pipelines under their land or nearby waters are more at risk in the event of rupture from these pipelines than communities without pipelines.

 

CIAP's primary directive seems to indicate that it was not created to assist inland communities, or coastal communities where there is no impact from offshore drilling.  Yet a very large portion of CIAP funds have been distributed to municipalities and other communites which are in little or no way impacted from offshore oil and gas production, the very definition of purpose for CIAP in the first place.

Projects Receiving CIAP Funds

While CIAP funds have gone to many worthy projects to mitigate impact caused by offshore drilling, funding has also been awarded to projects such as the following:

 

Project

Location

Funds Granted
in 2007-2008 Plan

Reconstruction of the Gulf State Park Pier

Gulf Shores, AL

$8 million

Gulf State Park Environmental Education Center

Gulf Shores, AL

$2 million

Longleaf Pine Restoration

Gulf Shores, AL

$420,000

Gulf State Park Land Management Program

Gulf Shores, AL

$750,000

Improvements to the Marine Resources Division's facilities at Claude Peteet Mariculture Center

Gulf Shores, AL

$4.5 million

Restoration of Gulf State Park Campground Vegetation

Gulf Shores, AL

$245,000

Land Acquisition in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, Perdido River Corridor and/or Lillian Swamp

Baldwin County

$10 million

Land Acquisition in the Red Hills

Monroe County

$10 million

Coastal Dune Restoration

Baldwin County

$240,000

Shoreline/Habitat Restoration

Baldwin County

$200,000

Acquisition of Property for Boating Access

Baldwin County

$2 million

Household Hazardous Waste
Amnesty Day

Baldwin County

$150,000

 

The projects listed above have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • not located directly on the coast or shoreline

  • not areas which are directly impacted by offshore drilling

  • not projects which help to mitigate coastal impact from offshore drilling

  • not projects which directly restore or preserve nature habitats or public, free-access beachfront

Yet all these projects received CIAP funds in the amounts listed above.

Meanwhile, Dauphin Island, particularly its West End, is in danger of washing away. While the island has received some funds from CIAP in the past, the funds received are disproportionate when compared to other communities.

 

Huge sums of CIAP money are going toward projects that seem very far afield from mitigating impact from offshore drilling.

 

Disproportionate Disbursal of Funds and
Corresponding Aesthetic & Environmental Impact

The monies disbursed tell more of this tale.

 

Allocations in project AL01-01 provided over $5 million for land acquisition, conservation and protection.  Baldwin County received over $4.5 million of this.  The other $500,000 was all that was left for localities outside Baldwin County.  This represents roughly a 90:10 ratioClick here to see a letter Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier wrote to the CIAP committee after the allocations of AL01-01.

 

Of the state's portion of total CIAP funds in 2007-2008, Mobile County (not Dauphin Island but ALL of Mobile County) received only one percent. Click here to see another letter from Mayor Collier concerning this.

 

Spencer Collier, Senator in the Alabama State Legislature, has proposed a bill to change the way CIAP funds are allocated to help Mobile County get a bigger share.  Show your support for this bill by sending emails to Senator Collier and to Governor Riley.  Contact information is on our contact page.  Click here to download a PDF file of the bill: HB113

 

The pipelines from offshore drilling are HERE, not over there!

The pipelines for offshore drilling run directly under Dauphin Island.

 

Pipeline Locations
(click to enlarge)

All pipelines converge under Dauphin Island
with one pipeline ending at Coden.
 There are no pipelines running into Baldwin County land at all.

 

Dauphin Island bears the largest brunt of impact from OCS gas production, yet has to date received a disproportionate share of the funds which were created specifically for this purpose!

 

It's time for Dauphin Island to get its due!
 

We ask for your support to bring awareness to this.  Please sign our petitions.  Send emails or write letters to CIAP representatives.  Ask them to distribute their funds to projects which more closely adhere to their primary mission statement and to the original purpose for which CIAP funds were initially created.

 

Many of the projects which have received CIAP funds in the past are eligible for funding from other sources and do not need to take money from a program specifically designed to restore and preserve coastal communities which are directly impacted by offshore drilling - a program tailer-made for areas like Dauphin Island!

Dauphin Island has been grossly short-changed by these and other funding sources.  It's time to be heard!  It's time to demand a larger share of these funds from our local, state and federal representatives and from grant managers.

 

Send an email to CIAP: dcnr.ciap@dcnr.alabama.gov

 

Write letters to our CIAP representatives:

 

Alabama State Lands Division, Dept.of Conservation and Natural Resources
64 North Union Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36130
Tel: 334.242.3484
Fax: 334.242.0999

and

Alabama State Lands Division, Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources
Five Rivers Alabama’s Delta Resource Center
31115 Five Rivers Boulevard
Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527
Tel: 251.621.1909
Fax: 251.621.1331
 


Related Links

 

CIAP Funding 2007-2008 (link to CIAP website)

 

Senator Spencer Collier's bill to change CIAP funding practice

 

Fun(ding) Facts

 

 

 

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