Coastal restoration in southwest Louisiana and the importance of Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in the process were the primary topics as the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Coastal Protection Restoration Authority, the Department of Natural Resources and the Chenier Plain Authority met August 4 at the refuge.
Scooter Trosclair, program manager at Rockefeller Refuge, explained to the assembled groups why the refuge is such a crucial component to the hydrology of the Mermentau Basin in southwest Louisiana.
The meeting was coordinated by Trosclair and Cameron Parish Administrator Ryan Bourriaque.
“What you’ll see here are the same coastal issues that are occurring in all of southwest Louisiana,’’ Trosclair said.
“The ways we are trying to learn how to fix problems here could help Cameron, Calcasieu and Vermilion parishes. The solutions we try to discover at Rockefeller not only help the sub-Mermentau Basin but are just as important to our neighbors all the way up to I-10.’’
In addition to discussing hydrological issues facing the Mermentau Basin, the group visited several projects at the refuge, including the new LSU-Tom Hess Water Control Structure, which fuses gravity drainage, estuary management and recreational fishing piers into one structure.
The group also visited the site of the upcoming ME-18 Shoreline Protection project. This project will build segmented breakwaters, or rock walls, 75 yards off the coastline in order to slow the rate of erosion and begin building land outward toward the gulf.
This project will begin next spring, running from Joseph Harbor west for 3-4 miles.