The America’s WETLAND Foundation (AWF) hosted members of the media on a site visit of its Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) Shoreline Stabilization and Restoration Project last week.
This restoration scheme is located on private land along the GIWW, serving as a model of cooperation for helping to save America’s WETLAND for future generations.
The site visit focused on the progress of Phase One of the project that stabilizes a one-mile stretch along the Gulf-facing side of the GIWW where embankments are continuously lost to tidal surge, threatening freshwater marshes with saltwater intrusion and taking with it private lands bordering the canal.
The project is supported with private funding through the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), CITGO, Shell, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Community Coffee, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the State of Louisiana, the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association and private landowners.
Both traditional and innovative technology are being used in the form of low cost bucket dredges and a vegetated, recycled plastic matrix material called Vegetated EcoShield™ manufactured by Baton Rouge-based Martin Ecosystems.
The entire project involves a four-mile section of the GIWW shoreline. After assessing the success of Phase One, Phase Two is being planned for 2016 on the north-facing side of the GIWW.