All set for Rabbit Island restoration project

Project managers had their first on-site construction meeting on Rabbit Island in Cameron Parish yesterday, informs the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA).

According to CPRA, containment dikes are in place and dredging is expected to begin next week.

Located in the west cove of Calcasieu Lake in Cameron Parish, Rabbit Island is a vital nesting colony for many birds, including the brown pelican.

The island is centrally located along the Chenier Plain, about one mile from the southwestern shore of Calcasieu Lake and two miles west of the Calcasieu ship channel.

Wind-generated waves in the shallow estuary, coupled with periodic high tides that are amplified by the ship channel, have slowly eroded Rabbit Island. Since 1955, the island has lost 89 acres of landmass, or 35% of its area.

Today, Rabbit Island’s total area is 200 acres, with much of that being open water, and the majority of the land at or below sea level.

The Rabbit Island Restoration Project will utilize dredged sediment from the Calcasieu Ship Channel or other suitable source to restore the elevation of the island on its current footprint of approximately 200 acres.

The restored island’s increased elevation will increase the abundance and quality of nesting habitat for a number of colonial nesting waterbirds including brown pelicans, wading birds, terns, and other colonial nesting water birds.

Photo: CPRA

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