Freshwater Diversion

West Maurepas Freshwater Diversion

  • Project TypeFreshwater Diversion
  • Project BasinPontchartrain-Maurepas Basin
  • ParishAscension, Livingston, St. James, St. Charles, Tangipahoa

This diversion project encompasses as many as three individual freshwater conduits from the river. It would benefit the western Maurepas swamps, the landbridge between Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain and the LaBranche wetlands. Dominated by bald cypress and water tupelo trees, this swamp complex is one of the largest forested wetlands in the nation. However, levees constructed along the river and the closure of Bayou Manchac have isolated the area from spring floods and the vital fresh water, nutrients and sediments they bring. This isolation coupled with rising salinities throughout the Pontchartrain Basin has le the swamp in a state of rapid decline – trees are dying, and young trees are not growing to replace them. The West Maurepas Freshwater Diversions will benefit the swamp by reconnecting it with the river, preventing further loss and the conversion to open water, as well as helping to temper rising salinities throughout the entire Pontchartrain Basin.