Phase One of the America’s WETLAND Foundation (AWF) Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) Shoreline Stabilization and Restoration Project is complete.
One mile of Vegetated EcoShield™ has been installed and planted to create habitat and to provide protection from storm surge for the community of Larose and for critical energy infrastructure.
Phase One of the project stabilizes 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.
Both traditional and innovative technology were used in the form of low cost bucket dredges and the vegetated, recycled plastic matrix material called Vegetated EcoShield™, produced from recycled, post-consumer plastic, which protects shorelines and stabilizes banks while promoting vegetative growth.
By providing a protective medium for vegetation to establish, grow and spread, it enhances the natural processes of the system by creating vegetative shorelines and important coastal habitats.
The entire project involves a four-mile section of the GIWW shoreline, with Phase Two to begin in 2016 on the north-facing side.
When complete, the restoration effort will help protect energy assets, secure seafood and recreational waterways and, at the same time, provide habitat for wildlife and waterfowl, while increasing protection from storm surge for nearby communities.
The project is supported with private funding through the National Fish & WildlifeFoundation (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.