The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) has awarded the contract to restore Queen Bess Island to Pontchartrain Partners, LLC.
The $9.8 million construction contract is being funded through the Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damages settlement administered by Louisiana’s Trustee Implementation Group.
Queen Bess Island is a vital nesting habitat for colonial nesting water birds in the Barataria Basin northeast of Grand Isle in Jefferson Parish.
Gov. John Bel Edwards commented: “We want to make sure that Pelicans will continue to flourish, and the restoration of Queen Bess Island will serve as a major milestone as we work to ensure these birds have critical nesting habitat well into the future.’’
The project will enhance the existing rock ring around the island, which will serve as containment and protection for the sand fill material that will increase the island’s elevation.
On the southwestern side of the island, a set of rock breakwaters will be placed just offshore creating a lagoon-style nursery feature without harsh wave energy for the young birds to learn how to swim, preen, and feed.
As CPRA reported, full construction will start once LDWF and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determine nesting activities have ended, which should occur no later than mid-September.
Construction on the island must be completed by mid-February 2020, when pelicans and other birds return for the next nesting season.