Land Loss

Did you know:

If nothing more is done to stop land loss, Louisiana could potentially lose approximately 700 additional square miles of land, or an area about equal to the size of the greater Washington D.C. – Baltimore area, in the next 50 years.

From 1932 to 2000, coastal Louisiana lost 1,900 square miles of land, roughly an area the size of the state of Delaware. The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act has protected, created, or restored 95, 954 acres of Louisiana wetlands, while greater than 351,676 acres have also been enhanced. CWPPRA is continuing to work toward the resounding success of coastal restoration.
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RAE Conference 2016

Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of bays and estuaries as essential resources for our nation. RAE member organizations restore coastal habitats in 11 estuaries and 16 states nationwide. RAE is also involved in the economics and valuation of estuaries, blue carbon, living shorelines, national advocacy, and a wide range of coastal restoration issues. The Coastal Society (TCS) is an organization that is dedicated to actively addressing emerging coastal issues by fostering dialogue, forging partnerships, and promoting communications and education. TCS is comprised of private sector, academic, and government professionals and students who are committed to promoting and effectively improving management of the coasts and ocean.

Restore America’s Estuaries and The Coastal Society hosted the 8th National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration and the 25th Biennial Meeting of The Coastal Society on December 10-15 at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans, La. The Summit is an international gathering encompassing all disciplines within the coastal and estuarine restoration and management communities. RAE and TCS  worked with 200 partnering and supporting organizations to develop the Summit program and welcomed more than 1,200 attendees from the restoration and management communities: non-profit and community organizations, Indian Country, academic and research institutions, businesses with an interest in the coast, and agencies from all levels of government. Restoration and management-interested groups or individuals gathered for an integrated discussion to explore issues, solutions, and lessons learned in their work. The theme of the 2016 conference, “Our Coasts, Our Future, Our Choice,” reflected the environmental, economic, and cultural importance of our coasts to residents of surrounding areas and to the nation as a whole.

To initiate the conference’s 550 oral presentations in 110 sessions, as well as 200 poster presentations, the Marc J. Hershman Opening Plenary session on “The Gulf of Mexico- Proving Ground for Regional Recovery Strategies” discussed how restoration in the Gulf is faring as enormous resources start to pour in. The subsequent days highlighted climate change, economic vitality, as well as coastal communities across the nation and the ecosystems they rely upon through sessions, a coastal film series,  and science communications coffee breaks. The closing plenary session covered “Changing Tides: What the New Congress and Administration Mean for Advancing Coastal Restoration and Management” with a panel discussion from leaders in coastal conservation, communications, and climate change policy. Among the 80 exhibitors was the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act. The CWPPRA exhibit debuted two new posters in the “Protect Our Coast” poster series campaign with accompanying banners in our photo booth, in addition to an array of available CWPPRA publications. As a follow up to the previous Brown Pelican and Louisiana iris posters, a coastal sunset scene and blue crab were each depicted. Participants were able to select from a variety of props to hold or wear while posing in front of the campaign poster banners. Participants posted their photos on multiple social media platforms with the campaign hashtag #ProtectOurCoast.

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Protect Our Coast

Did you know:

CWPPRA debuted a new poster series campaign entitled “Protect Our Coast.”

Each of the four posters in the series depict a coastal related image accompanied by an explanation of how the image connects to wetlands and CWPPRA.

iris_finalThe state’s designated wildflower, the Louisiana iris can be found along the margins of freshwater bayous and sloughs. Having little tolerance for salt water, the Louisiana iris is one of many plant species at risk from saltwater intrusion. Channels dredged through wetlands alter the natural hydrology, resulting in increased salinity and the loss of fresh water vegetation and organisms. CWPPRA hydrologic restoration and freshwater diversion projects regulate salinity and restore the natural hydrology of wetlands, preserving the iris and many other iconic Louisiana plants and animals.

sunset_finalCWPPRA –The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act– is federal legislation enacted to identify, engineer and design, and fund the construction of coastal wetlands restoration projects. These projects provide for the long-term conservation of wetlands and dependent fish and wildlife populations. Projects funded by CWPPRA are cost-effective ways of restoring, protecting, and enhancing coastal wetlands. CWPPRA has a proven track record of superior coastal restoration science and monitoring techniques in Louisiana.

 

crab_finalLouisiana accounts for over half of all commercial harvest landings in the Gulf of Mexico. Wetlands, particularly coastal marshes, play an imperative role in the life cycle of about 90% of Gulf marine species, including the blue crab. Providing a protective nursery, wetlands house an immensely diverse quantity of species that rely upon this habitat. CWPPRA aims to continue the protection and restoration of these essential habitats for wildlife, aquaculture, and fisheries.

 

pelican_finalMangroves, which are used for nesting by Louisiana’s Brown Pelican, are threatened by the loss of Louisiana’s barrier islands. These islands are vanishing at an alarming rate due to man-made changes to coastal Louisiana, including the leveeing of the Mississippi River. Recognizing the ecological importance of barrier islands and their critical role in reducing hurricane storm surge in Louisiana, CWPPRA has played a part in the restoration of nearly every barrier island and barrier headland in Louisiana’s Barataria Basin.

 

Download your CWPPRA Protect Our Coast poster here! Don’t forget to spread coastal awareness by using the campaign hashtag #ProtectOurCoast!

Barataria Bay Rim Marsh Creation

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Historic wetland loss in the area occurs in the form of interior marsh loss and shoreline erosion along Barataria Bay. The interior loss is caused by subsidence, sediment deprivation, and construction of access and pipeline canals.

The proposed project would create approximately 251 acres and nourish approximately 266 acres of marsh using sediment dredged material from Barataria Bay. The majority of the dredged material would be fully contained. For creation of approximately  15 acres of marsh and nourishment of 34 acres in the eastern portion of the project, the dredged material would be semi-contained. Containment dikes will be degraded as necessary to reestablish hydrologic connectivity with adjacent wetlands. In case the area does no re-vegetate on its own, the maintenance cost estimate will include funds to plant 25% of the created marsh at Year 3.

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BA-195 is located in Region 2, Barataria Basin, Jefferson and Plaquemines Parishes.

This project is on Priority Project List (PPL) 25 and was approved for Phase I Engineering and Design in January 2016.

Barataria Bay Rim Marsh Creation project sponsors include:

Keep up with this project and other CWPPRA projects on the project page.

 

 

 

Wetland Vegetation

Spanish Moss
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Frequently included in the visionary imagery of Louisiana’s swamp landscape is gray, vine-like vegetation commonly seen draped on cypress branches. Thought to be a moss, Spanish moss is actually a bromeliad related to pineapples and succulent house plants in the same taxonomic family. Similarly, Spanish moss is not native to Spain, as is commonly thought; it is, however, native to South America and the Caribbean and grows from Texas to Virginia in the U.S. Inclined to moist areas, an ideal habitat for Spanish moss is a tree residing in a tropical swampland. Spanish moss is a rootless epiphyte—although Spanish moss is located on tree branches, it does not obtain food or water from the supporting tree as a parasite would. Spanish moss spreads and propagates from fragments known as festoons which are carried by wind or birds and initiate growth after landing in suitable conditions. An abundance of wetland wildlife utilize Spanish moss for survival needs, such as birds building nests and spiders and frogs hiding from predators.

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Caminada Headlands Back Barrier Marsh Creation, Increment 2

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The Caminada Back Barrier Marsh Restoration Project is located in an especially dynamic area of the Louisiana Coast. The landward shoreline migration of the beach will significantly impact the project area over the 20 year life of the project. Historic shoreline migration rates average 41.4 feet/year over the last century. The increased losses occurred after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 since the breaches remained open for an extended length of time. In addition, the losses were exacerbated by Tropical Storm Fay and Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008. Significant prolonged breaches greatly increase the net export of sediment from the headland.

This project would create 246 acres of back barrier intertidal marsh and nourish 198 acres of emergent marsh using dredged material pumped from the Gulf of Mexico. The marsh creation and nourishment cells are designed to minimize impacts on existing marsh and mangroves. Assuming some natural vegetative recruitment, vegetative plantings are planned at a 50% density, with half planned at Target Year (TY1) and half planned at TY3. Containment dikes will be degraded or gapped by TY3 to allow access for estuarine organisms. The project would result in approximately 207 new acres over the 20-year project life.

The project will work synergistically with BA-45 Caminada Beach and Dune Restoration Project (construction completed December 2014) and BA-143 Caminada Beach and Dune Restoration Increment 2 Project (scheduled to be completed with construction in July 2016), as well as BA-171 Caminada Back Barrier Marsh Creation Project (scheduled to be completed with E&D late 2016).

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The Caminada Headland is defined as the area south of Louisiana Highway 1 between Belle Pass and Caminada Pass. The project is located directly behind Caminada headland beach east of Bayou Moreau and west of Elmer’s Island. The project is located in CWPPRA Planning Region 2, Barataria Basin, Lafourche and Jefferson Parishes.

This project is on Priority Project List (PPL) 25 and was approved for Phase I Engineering and Design in January 2016.

The Caminada Headlands Back Barrier Marsh Creation, Increment 2 project sponsors include:

Keep up with this project and other CWPPRA projects on the project page.

 

CWPPRA Project Construction

Did you know:

CWPPRA projects are constructed within 5-7 years from initiating engineering and design.

CWPPRA projects are built in a series of phases. The first in the series of phases is Phase Zero which includes conceptual project development. Once a project is approved through the CWPPRA selection process, the project undergoes two subsequent phases to completion. Following the initial phase is Phase One where a combination of pre-construction data collection and engineering and design is incorporated. Lastly, Phase Two encompasses construction, project management, construction supervision and inspection,  and operations, maintenance, and monitoring or OM&M. CWPPRA serves as the foundation for the development of restoration science and identification of project needs that have become the platform for other restoration funding programs. Over 25 years, the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act has authorized 210 projects, benefiting approximately 100,000 acres.