Cole’s Bayou Marsh Restoration


The Cole’s Bayou Marsh Restoration project area wetlands are undergoing loss at -0.42%/year based on 1983 to 2011 USGS data from the extended boundary. Wetland loss processes in this area include subsidence/sediment deficit, interior ponding and pond enlargement, and storm impacts resulting in rapid episodic losses.  In addition, significant interior marsh loss has resulted from salt water intrusion and hydrologic changes associated with increasing tidal influence.  As hydrology in this area has been modified, habitats have shifted to more of a floatant marsh type, resulting in increased susceptibility to tidal energy and storm damages. Habitat shifts and hydrologic stress reduce marsh productivity, a critical component of vertical accretion in wetlands.

The specific goals of this project are: 1) create 365 acres of brackish marsh in recently formed shallow open water; 2) nourish 53 acres of existing brackish marsh; and, 3) increase freshwater and sediment inflow into interior wetlands by improving project area hydrology.

This project aims to create 365 aces and nourish 53 acres of brackish marsh via dredging with borrow from nearby Vermilion Bay.  Although Vermilion Bay is not considered an “external” source of material, significant sediment inflows into this area may result in some borrow area infilling. Half of the marsh creation acres would be planted. The project will encourage additional freshwater nutrient and sediment inflow from Freshwater Bayou Canal by dredging a portion of Cole’s Bayou along with the installation of a series of culverts throughout the project area.

The culverts located along the northern project boundary are envisioned to allow the ingress of sediment, water, and fisheries organisms into the semi-impounded project area, but avoid backflow of water and potential loss of interior marsh sediment (i.e., north to south flow only). The culverts located along the southern project boundary are envisioned to allow water to drain out of the marsh.


The Cole’s Bayou Marsh Restoration project is located in Region 3, Teche/Vermilion Basin in Vermilion Parish, east of Freshwater Bayou Canal.

This project is on Priority Project List (PPL) 21.  In January 2016, the CWPPRA Task Force approved Phase II funds for construction.

The Cole’s Bayou Marsh Restoration project’s sponsors include:

  • Federal Sponsor: National Marine Fisheries Service
  • Local Sponsor: Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority


Learn more about this project (TV-63) and others on CWPPRA’s project page.




Benefits of Wetlands

Did you know:

5 of the 15 largest ports in the United Stated are located in Louisiana

  1. Port of South Louisiana
  2. Port of New Orleans
  3. Port of Greater Baton Rouge
  4. Port of Plaquemines
  5. Port of Lake Charles

Louisiana’s coast provides an abundance of natural resources to the entire country; however, it is our coastal wetlands that hold the critical responsibility of providing storm protection to these ports and inland communities.


Coastal Day at the Legislature

On Monday, April 4th, The Coast Builders Coalition and the Louisiana Legislature held an annual one-day event dedicated to highlighting the efforts to restore, protect, and enhance Louisiana’s coast. The event entitled “Coastal Day at the Legislature” involved educating representatives and legislators from across the state on our depleting coast, land loss rates, and potential methods of restoration.

The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act’s Public Outreach staff participated by displaying a number of publications on the House side of the Rotunda in Louisiana’s Capitol. In addition to distributing publications and answering questions, the outreach staff had the honor of being present during a meeting in which Governor Edwards issued an executive order directing all state agencies to operate in a manner consistent with the Coastal Master Plan.

Governor Edwards

Governor Edwards stated, “the Louisiana coast is vital to our heritage and our economy, which is why doing everything within our power to ensure that it is restored and protected must be a priority. The Coastal Master Plan provides safe and sustainable ways in which all departments can operate, thereby helping to ensure that the coast continues to be productive.” In addition to the governor, speakers including Representative Tanner Magee, Representative Robert Billiot, Representative Jerome Zeringue, Representative Stuart Bishop, Senator Norby Chabert, Steve Cochran with Restore the Mississippi River Delta, Sidney Coffee with America’s Wetland Foundation, and Scott Kirkpatrick with Coast Builders Coalition discussed issues pertaining to Louisiana’s coast. Johnny Bradberry, Governor Edwards’ executive assistant for coastal activities, announced that Louisiana will receive a minimum of $6.8 billion for claims related to natural resource damages, economic claims, and penalties against the Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

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East Leeville Marsh Creation and Nourishment

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There is widespread historic and continued rapid land loss within the East Leeville Marsh Creation and Nourishment project site and surrounding areas resulting from subsidence, wind erosion, storms, and altered hydrology.  The wetland loss rate is -1.53% / year based on USGS data from 1984 to 2015.  Furthermore, the limits of Southwestern Louisiana Canal are difficult to determine in some areas because land loss is causing the coalescence of the canal with adjacent water bodies.  Natural tidal flow and drainage patterns which once existed are currently circumvented by the increasing area of open water.  Data suggests that from 1932 to 1990, the basin lost over 245,000 acres of marsh, and from 1978 to 1990, Barataria Basin experienced the highest rate of wetlands loss along the entire coast.

The project goal is to create approximately 358 acres and nourish 124 acres of saline marsh east of Leeville.  After consideration of three potential alternatives, features and an alignment  were selected to establish an arc of wetlands along the north side of Southwestern Canal, Lake Jesse, and the west side of South Lake.  This is to begin rebuilding the structural framework of wetlands east of Leeville and provide protection for Leeville from southeasterly winds and tides.  A robust engineering and design cost was included for full flexibility during Phase I to expand the project if cost allows or to assess alternative configurations, if necessary.  The proposed features consist of hydraulically mining sediment from a borrow source in Little Lake west of Leeville and pumping dredged material to create and nourish marsh east of Leeville.  The disposal area would be fully contained during construction to facilitate establishment of tidal connection and function.  Additionally, a portion of the created marsh acres would be planted with smooth cordgrass following construction to help stabilize the created platform by increasing the rate of colonization.


This project is primarily located in Region 2, Barataria Basin in Lafourche Parish; however, the project site is also in Region 3, Terrebonne Basin of Lafourche Parish.

The East Leeville Marsh Creation and Nourishment project was approved for Phase I Engineering and Design in January 2016.

This project is on Priority Project List (PPL) 25.

The East Leeville Marsh Creation and Nourishment’s sponsors include:

Keep up with the progress on BA-194 or other PPL 25 projects.



World Water Day

Water, promoter of all life forms on Earth, is recognized today- World Water Day!  In Louisiana, 47% of the state’s population resides in the coastal zonewith majority of the livelihoods being reliant on water. Industries such as aquaculture, agriculture, and tourism depend on the sustainability and quality of Louisiana’s waters.  This essential natural resource thrives in a symbiotic relationship with Louisiana’s wetlands, providing vital nourishment to fisheries, wildlife, and Louisiana’s coastal growth.  Water is not only a commodity, but a contributor to life… appreciate it, preserve it, and protect it!

Water is the key to life, celebrate World Water Day!

Visit EPA, one of CWPPRA’s managing agencies, to learn more about water quality!


International Day of Forests

The scenic beauty of Louisiana is widely known, illustrating the common staple between the state’s largely varying landscapes- forests.  With a highly diversified geography, Louisiana produces an abundance of species-rich forests, some of which include oak, pine, and cypress.  Aesthetically pleasing, yes, but forests are also a major contributor to the well-being of the environment and sustainability of humans.

More than 75% of the fresh water we use throughout the world comes from forested wetlands!

Consider a forest clean-up activity or tree planting event, and don’t forget to celebrate your local forests!

Happy International Day of Forests!

Green Louisiana

Currently, Louisiana is losing approximately a football field per hour of wetlands! Make an effort to keep Louisiana GREEN by striving to conserve, protect, and restore our coastal green treasure- wetlands!

Visit CWPPRA’s website to learn about our wetland restoration projects!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!