West Grand Terre beach nourishment project almost done

Leadership from the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and the RESTORE Council (RESTORE) visited recently the West Grand Terre Beach Nourishment and Stabilization project in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, which is currently under construction.

The design phase of this project was funded with RESTORE act funds and the construction phase was funded by the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (LaTIG) with Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) funds.

Once complete, the West Grand Terre project will increase the width of the island and maintain shoreline integrity by introducing sediment to the dune and back barrier marsh habitat in order to increase island longevity.

Restoring and stabilizing this island will provide storm surge and wave attenuation, thereby addressing the issues of gulf shoreline erosion, diminished storm surge protection, and subsidence of back barrier marshes.

The project is dredging 3.7 million cubic yards of material to restore approximately 251 acres of beach and dune shoreline and 147 acres of back-barrier marsh. Additionally, rock breakwaters are being constructed to support land building and increase protection from wave impacts and storm surge.

The visit is part of a tour of RESTORE Council funded restoration projects across the Gulf Coast as the Council prepares to update its Comprehensive Plan for Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy. A draft of the plan was released for public comment on April 21, 2022.

“RESTORE funds were integral in leveraging the NRDA funding necessary for the construction of this historic and ecologically significant project,” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline. “This collaborative effort secured the investment needed to protect the coast of Louisiana and maximizes the resources needed to move projects from design to construction. We are excited to highlight the Council’s early investment in this large-scale project and are pleased that the Council remains committed to supporting strategic investments in these critically important ecosystem restoration projects, as detailed in the 2022 Comprehensive Plan Update.”

CPRA also leveraged additional State and Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) funding to prepare the island for construction by removing abandoned structures in advance of the restoration project.

The project was initiated in January 2017 with the Final Design being completed in November 2019. The project issued a Notice to Proceed to Construction in August 2020 and is projected to be complete by June 2022.

The RESTORE Act, passed in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, calls for the RESTORE Council to develop a comprehensive plan for use of a portion of the Deepwater Horizon settlement funds to restore the ecosystem and economies of the Gulf Coast.

This plan communicates the Council’s goals and objectives for restoration, and it guides future investments in restoration activities. Gulf Coast stakeholders are invited to review and comment on the draft plan update during a formal comment period, beginning April 21, 2022. The deadline for submitting public comment is 11:59 MT on June 6, 2022.

Photo: RestoreTheGulf