The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) announces the awarding of four construction contracts totaling $28.6 million for projects that will restore marshland, revive an ecosystem with fresh water and vegetative plantings, strengthen an existing levee system, and use rocks to stabilize a portion of coastal shoreline.
The projects extend across Cameron, Lafourche and St. James Parishes, CPRA said.
Rockefeller Refuge Gulf Shoreline Stabilization
A 2.8 mile rock breakwater will be constructed along the gulf shoreline of the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Cameron Parish.
The $18.9 million project will address the erosion of the shoreline which has been retreating at an average rate of 46 feet per year, causing the loss of the emergent saline marsh buffer that helps reduce storm surge impact on the inland habitats of wildlife such as the refuge’s endangered Whooping Cranes.
Cameron-Creole Watershed Grand Bayou Marsh Creation
An $8.2 million project will restore more than 600 acres of marsh on the east side of Calcasieu Lake in Cameron Parish.
The project will address two separate areas north of Grand Bayou: a southern marsh creation area of 386 acres encompassing part of the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge, and a northern marsh creation area of 219 acres on private property.
Funded by a partnership of CPRA and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) through CWPPRA, material will be dredged from Calcasieu Lake to restore a degraded part of the ecosystem to benefit fish and wildlife resources in the brackish marsh system.
Kraemer-Bayou Boeuf Levee Lift
The North Lafourche Conservation, Levee and Drainage District is using $1 million of CPRA funding to enhance the 33,000 foot ring levee surrounding the community south of Lac des Allemands by clearing woody vegetation encroaching on the levee in preparation for a future levee lift.
The project will also improve drainage by cleaning out the canal adjacent to the levee, place excavated material on the levee itself, and replace two culverts to further improve drainage.
Hydrologic Restoration & Vegetative Planting in Des Allemands Swamp
In order to increase the health of the Lac des Allemands Swamp ecosystem, a contract of $519,562 has been awarded to minimize the loss of both marsh and a declining cypress forest, as well as reduce swamp submergence, increase regrowth of young trees, increase swamp productivity, improve drainage and increase water quality.
Through the CWPPRA program, the CPRA and the federal sponsor, EPA, are taking action to restore 2,400 acres of wetlands within St. James Parish.
Once constructed, the project will increase water flow into the swamp by cutting gaps in the spoil bank, breaching internal impediments, and reestablishing natural channels. Native vegetation will also be planted at the site.