More than $1 million dollars in recovery money will be coming to Louisiana to build a new Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge Fish Lab and Fish Lab Complex which were destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Rita.

The money will be coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to replace six of the buildings destroyed in Rita.

The Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge is more than 76,000 acres in Cameron and Vermilion parishes. It is noted as one of the most biologically diverse wildlife areas in the nation. The Refuge was also home to a biological research complex, where staff and biologists studied the American alligator, fish, plants and waterfowl populations.

"The Grand Chenier complex plays an integral role in the pioneering research performed at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge," said FEMA's Louisiana Recovery Office Deputy Director of Programs Andre Cadogan. "Through FEMA's assistance, the state will be able to reverse the damage done by Hurricane Rita and build back this complex in a more resourceful manner."

Hurricane Rita came ashore in September of 2005 with a large storm surge, high winds and flooding which wiped out the Refuge's Grand Chenier biological research complex of buildings.  Instead of rebuilding exactly like before, the state will now use the more for a more efficient design and  consolidating the buildings.

The six building destroed by Hurricane Rita included:

  • a fish lab
  • a fish lab boat shed
  • a chemical storage building
  • an alligator incubator shed
  • an alligator storage shed
  • a freezer storage shed

Now those six buildings will be housed in three new buildings.  The facility will be have a 5,460-square-foot fish lab and an alligator incubator shed along with a boat shed. Funding for the consolidated structures also comes from an alligator pump house, trappers camp and airstrip, all of which will not be rebuilt.