Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act - Directs the Secretary of the Army to convene the Louisiana Coastal Wetlands Conservation and Restoration Task Force to prepare a list of coastal wetlands restoration projects in Louisiana to provide for the long-term conservation of such wetlands and dependent fish and wildlife populations in order of priority based on the cost-effectiveness of such projects in creating, restoring, or protecting wetlands, taking into account the quality of such wetlands.
Directs the Secretary to transmit the list annually to the Congress. Provides that such list (prior to the date a plan to identify such projects is prepared) shall only include restoration projects that can be substantially completed during the initial five-year period.
Directs the Task Force to prepare a plan to identify priority coastal restoration projects.
Requires such plan to coordinate projects to ensure long-term conservation of Louisiana wetlands.
Directs the Secretary to:
(1) submit such plan to the Congress; and
(2) submit a triennial scientific evaluation of the effectiveness of such projects to the Congress. Deems ecological, aesthetic, cultural, and economic benefits to exceed the cost of any project which contributes significantly to wetlands restoration.
Allocates funding for such projects based on a project's priority.
Limits the Federal share of projects to 75 percent of the total cost.
Raises such limit for States with approved coastal wetlands conservation plans.
Sets forth forms of State shares of such projects.
Requires the Secretary, the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with the Governor of Louisiana if the Governor agrees, to enter into an agreement to:
(1) set forth a process by which the State of Louisiana agrees to develop and implement a coastal wetlands conservation plan;
(2) designate a State agency to develop the plan; and
(3) submit the plan to the Secretary, the Director, and the Administrator for approval.
Directs the Administrator to make grants to assist the agency in developing the plan, limiting the assistance to 75 percent of the cost of developing the plan.
Requires the Secretary, the Director, and the Administrator to provide technical assistance to the State for such plan.
Sets forth a goal for such plan of no net loss of wetlands as a result of development activities.
Outlines the elements of the plan.
Provides for approval of the plan if:
(1) the State has adequate authority to implement the plan; and
(2) the plan is adequate to attain the goal of no net loss of wetlands and is in compliance with this Act. Sets forth modification procedures in the case of noncompliance.
Directs the Secretary, the Director, and the Administrator to report biennially to the Congress on such plan.
Requires the Secretary of the Interior to make matching grants to coastal States to carry out coastal wetlands conservation projects.
Directs the Secretary, in awarding such grants, to give priority to projects that are:
(1) consistent with the National Wetlands Priority Conservation Plan developed under the Emergency Wetlands Resources Act; and
(2) in coastal States that have established dedicated funding for programs to acquire coastal wetlands, natural areas, and open spaces.
Subjects the provision of such grants to conditions that will ensure that real property interests acquired, enhanced, or restored with such moneys will be administered for the long-term conservation of lands, waters, fish, and wildlife.
Limits such grants to 50 percent of the total cost of a project, except in cases where a State has established a trust fund.
Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to:
(1) make progress payments on wetlands conservation projects; and
(2) enter into agreements to make payments on portions of such projects, subject to the availability of Federal funds.
Requires the Secretary, with funds made available under this Act, to direct the Fish and Wildlife Service to update and digitize wetlands maps in Texas and to conduct an assessment of wetlands in such State. Allocates funds to carry out this Act's activities, including an amount for allocation under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. Authorizes the Secretary of the Army to carry out projects for the protection, restoration, or enhancement of aquatic and associated ecosystems.
Requires the Secretary to give such projects equal consideration with irrigation, navigation, or flood control projects.
Authorizes and directs the Secretary to study the feasibility of modifying the operation of existing navigation and flood control projects to allow for an increase in the share of Mississippi River flows and sediment sent down the Atchafalaya River for purposes of land building and wetlands nourishment.