SELA Orleans


SELA was authorized in 1996 by the United States Congress and administered under a project cooperation agreement between the SEWERAGE AND WATER BOARD OF NEW ORLEANS and the U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS. The LOUISIANA COASTAL PROTECTION AUTHORITY is a partnering agency.

Prompted by the severity of damages associated with rainfall flooding in southeast Louisiana, local officials in the tri-parish area of Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Tammany requested Federal assistance in developing and implementing solutions to the flooding problem.

After the disastrous flood in May 1995, the United States Congress authorized the design and construction of SELA in Section 108 of the Fiscal year 1996 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, and Section 533 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1996.

SELA consists of several individual project components that are being designed and constructed throughout the tri-parish area. The Project Cooperation Agreement executed by the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (S&WB) in January 1997 required that the Federal government provide 75% of the total project cost of the SELA projects in Orleans Parish, and that the S&WB provide 25%.

In the years immediately preceding hurricane Katrina, the Federal funding level did not support the start of projects that had been approved as SELA projects in Orleans Parish. In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, Congress, via Public Law 109-148 the Flood Control & Coastal Emergency (FC&CE) 3rd Supplemental Appropriation, appropriated $224.8 million to accelerate the completion of SELA.

This appropriation was 100% federally funded. Because of the increased construction cost in southeast Louisiana as the region rebuilds from hurricane Katrina, the 3rd Supplemental Appropriation was not enough to fund the remaining project components of SELA. Subsequently, in 2008 Congress appropriated an additional $1.3 billion for SELA through Public Law 110-252 and PL 110-329 the 6th & 7th Supplemental Appropriations. These funds are to be cost shared at 65% Federal and 35% local with payback via a 30-year plan granted by the Administration.