CPRA Highlights Coastal Projects in Louisiana

The Bayou Bonfouca (PO-104) project site during the field tour

The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) joined yesterday with federal agencies in a Dedication Ceremony spotlighting $214 million in coastal projects in Louisiana.

CPRA is the state sponsor for all Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) projects.

CWPPRA project federal partners include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Dept. of Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, EPA, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Following the ceremony, federal and state officials toured the nearby active construction site of Bayou Bonfouca Marsh Creation, a $28.2 million CWPPRA project in partnership between CPRA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This project is rebuilding and armoring vulnerable reaches of Lake Pontchartrain’s northeastern shoreline, by creating or nourishing nearly 1,000 acres of intermediate marsh.

The CWPPRA program has been a vital and steady revenue stream for Louisiana coastal master plan projects,” said CPRA Chairman Johnny Bradberry. “Since 1990 there has never been a year when we didn’t have the CWPPRA program making some kind of investment in our coast.”

In addition to its direct funding assistance for ecosystem restoration projects that build land, marsh and barrier islands, CWPPRA has built the Coast-wide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) a network of 392 monitoring sites providing invaluable scientific data. There are multiple stations within each site, for water, vegetation, etc.

During the event, other southeast Louisiana CWPPRA projects were also highlighted that are now in progress or already accomplished in partnership with CPRA.

These include:

  • The $32.6 million South Lake Lery Shoreline and Marsh Restoration in Plaquemines Parish, using dredged sediment to create approximately 551 acres of marsh while also restoring 33,000 feet of the shoreline of Lake Lery just northwest of Delacroix.
  • The $6.2 million Hydrologic Restoration and Vegetative Planting in the Des Allemands Swamp in St. James Parish. The goal is 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.
  • The $46.2 million Barataria Basin Landbridge Shoreline Protection, Phase 3, a project encompassing portions of Lafourche and Jefferson Parishes using rocks to reduce or eliminate shoreline erosion along 21,400 feet of the west bank of Bayou Perot and the north shore of Little Lake, protecting and benefiting approximately 2,380 acres of land.
  • The $42.5 million Grand Liard Marsh and Ridge Restoration Project in lower Plaquemines Parish built 15,484 linear feet of ridge to contain the create and nourish 484 acres of marsh that would have completely converted to open water by 2050. Sediment to restore the ridge was dredged from Bayou Grand Liard, and sediment to restore the marsh was dredged and pumped to the project location from an offshore borrow site.
  • The $38.9 million Bayou Dupont Marsh and Ridge Creation, a completed undertaking that was part of a series of land building projects in an area below Belle Chasse and Lafitte that experienced the highest rate of wetland loss in coastal Louisiana from 1978 to 1990. With sediment dredged from the Mississippi River, this project created 390 acres of marsh and more than two miles of ridge that will soon be planted with native trees such as live oak, hackberry and yaupon.
  • The $18.1 million Bayou Dupont Sediment Delivery – Marsh Creation #3 and Terracing, the latest in the series of projects along a pipeline corridor extending west from the Mississippi River, it used sediment dredged from the river to create and nourish approximately 144 acres of marsh that had degraded into mostly open water and broken marsh.