A $31 million segmented breakwater project at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge was approved at the Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection Restoration Act (CWPPRA) meeting on December 10.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), which owns and manages Rockefeller, will use the funding to construct and maintain 2.5 miles of breakwater structure initially with the potential to reach nine miles in length.
The rock walls will begin on the west side of Joseph’s Harbor Pass and extend westward.
“We are pleased to see this project receive the funding it deserves since this area is an erosional hotspot and needs shoreline protection,” said Rockefeller Program Manager Scooter Trosclair. “Southwest Louisiana understands the need for shoreline protection and at Rockefeller we want to maintain our shoreline and demonstrate to other parts of the state viable shoreline stabilization methods. This will be one of the longest continuous spans of breakwaters in the Gulf of Mexico.”
CWPPRA held the meeting at LDWF headquarters in Baton Rouge and voted on four projects that were ready for the Phase II construction. Phase II construction means the projects have been demonstrated through modeling or small scale demonstrations that confirm the restoration technique can work. Of the four, three were passed. The votes are cast on a weighted scale, the first place project was the segmented breakwater project at Rockefeller.
Rockefeller Refuge Gulf Shoreline Stabilization Project, also called ME-18 (Mermentau Basin, 18th project), has been awaiting a CWPPRA vote of approval for a few years.
The project was supported heavily by Rockefeller users, Cameron Parish Police Jury, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Chenier Plain Authority Board and falls in line with the State’s Coastal Master Plan.
Construction is expected to begin in spring 2017.