The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) has been awarded a $14.2 million grant from the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council for the Mississippi River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp project.
This project is one of seven projects the RESTORE Council has selected for funding under its Initial Funded Priorities List that will directly benefit Louisiana.
The Maurepas Swamp is located west of Lake Pontchartrain and is one of the largest areas of forested wetlands along the Gulf Coast, encompassing approximately 57,000 hectares of bald cypress-tupelo swamp.
Extensive man-made changes to the historical flood plain of the Lower Mississippi River have affected the health and stability of this area by reducing the influx of sediments that are essential for offsetting subsidence and the lack of freshwater.
The River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp project is being designed to construct a 2,000 cubic feet per second gated structure in the Mississippi River and five miles of conveyance channel near Garyville to reconnect the river to the swamp and improve the health and longevity of this ecosystem.
This project will be the first dedicated river diversion project into the forested wetlands of Louisiana designed specifically for swamp forest restoration, with the goal being to reduce or minimize loss of swamp forest habitat in the project area through the reintroduction of Mississippi River water.