Large-scale Projects Move Forward in 2017
By Alisha Renfro
, Coastal Scientist, Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program
2017 has been a busy year for coastal restoration in Louisiana. Louisiana’s 2017 Coastal Master Plan passed unanimously and progress was made on several large-scale restoration projects. This is the time of year where we often reflect on what we want to accomplish in the next year; but, first, let’s take a moment to appreciate how far we’ve come. Here are just a few of the projects that made progress in 2017. Some of these projects may be bigger and some may be smaller, but they all move us a little closer to a more resilient Louisiana coast.
Before and After: Bayou Dupont Marsh Creation and Ridge Restoration and Long Distance Sediment Pipeline Projects.
- The South Lake Lery Shoreline and Marsh Restoration project was constructed using material dredged from Lake Lery to rebuild its southern shoreline which was damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Waves in the years since Hurricane Katrina have further damaged the shoreline. This project restored about 500 acres of marsh and 33,000 feet of the lake’s shoreline.
Before and During the Lake Lery South Shoreline and Marsh Restoration.
- Grand Lake Shoreline Protection project, was constructed this year in Cameron Parish along the southern shoreline of Grand Lake. Erosion of the shoreline of Grand Lake have led to a rapid retreat of the shoreline between 11-32 feet per year. This project placed rocks near the lake’s shoreline to stop the erosion and promote land accretion between the rocks and the shoreline.
Image from: CRCL Oyster Shell Recycling Program which built was used to build a living shoreline in 2016.
- Living Shoreline Project is an oyster reef restoration project located along the southwestern shoreline of the Biloxi Marsh. The goal of this project is to create a living shoreline demonstration project displaying how oyster reefs can grow vertically to offset rising sea levels, improve water quality, provide fish and bird habitat and can also be used to combat coastal erosion. This 21-mile long project will help knock down wave energy before it reaches the shoreline, protecting the marsh behind the reef.
Credit: Jacques Herbert
- Shell Island West is a barrier island restoration project located on the eastern side of Barataria Basin’s barrier island chain. Over the years, Shell Island had been split in two and nearly disappeared beneath the Gulf’s waves. Shell Island East completed construction in 2014. Shell Island West used sediment dredged from the Mississippi River and from offshore to rebuild 600 acres of barrier island, dune and back barrier marsh habitat. This project was constructed with funding from 2010 BP oil spill. This restored barrier island will provide habitat to wildlife, separate the Barataria Basin estuary from the salty Gulf, and provide a buffer for interior marshes against waves.