Fritchie Marsh Creation and Terracing

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A significant portion of the Fritchie Marsh was lost due to Hurricane Katrina. Post storm shallow open water areas dominate the landscape which limits the effectiveness of the PO-06 CWPPRA project. Wetlands in the project vicinity are being lost at the rate -1.09%/year based on USGS data from 1985 to 2015. These marshes cannot recover without replacement of lost sediment, which is critical if the northshore marshes are to be sustained.

Project goals include restoring and nourishing marsh. Specific goals of the project are: 1) create approximately 291 acres of marsh; 2) nourish approximately 49 acres of existing marsh; 3) construct about 36,610 feet of earthen terraces or 26 emergent acres.

An alternative analysis was conducted leading to the selection of features and configuration to compliment and work synergistically with the existing PO-06 project and planned mitigation and restoration projects in the Fritchie Marsh. A robust engineering cost is included to evaluate increasing the project size if costs allow or adjust the layout, if needed during Phase I. Approximately 2 million cubic yards of material would be placed confined to restore 291 acres and nourish approximately 49 acres of brackish marsh. Material would be dredged from a borrow site in Lake Pontchartrain. The borrow site would be designed to avoid and minimize impacts to aquatic habitat and existing shorelines. Approximately 26 acres of earthen terraces would be constructed within various locations totaling approximately 36,610 feet or 523 acres of terrace field. All containment dikes would be gapped or degraded no later than three years after construction to facilitate the development of tidal marsh functions supportive of estuarine species. The terraces would be planted as well as 50% of the created marsh acres to expedite colonization and enhance stabilization.

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This project is located in Region 1, Pontchartrain Basin, St. Tammany Parish, located approximately three miles southeast of Slidell, Louisiana. A substantial portion of the project is located on Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge.

The Fritchie Marsh Creation and Terracing project was approved for Phase I Engineering and Design in January 2016.

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

The Fritchie Marsh Creation and Terracing project sponsors include:

 

Keep up with the progress on PO-173 and other PPL 25 projects.

Delcambre Seafood and Farmers Market

Situated on the banks of Bayou Carlin, the Delcambre Seafood and Farmers Market is a monthly community project which attracts a great attendance of consumers to browse various vendor products and access fresh Louisiana shrimp directly from a fisherman’s boat. The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act’s Public Outreach staff traveled to the Delcambre market on May 7th to partner with the Water Institute of the Gulf. The Water Institute of the Gulf is a not-for-profit, independent research institute dedicated to advancing the understanding of coastal, deltaic, river and water resource systems, both within the Gulf Coast and around the world. In pursuit of a coastal Louisiana community resilience booklet, the Water Institute offered a community mapping workshop to learn about culturally and economically important places within Vermilion and Iberia Parishes that are in need of coastal protection, and ideas for creating community and environmental resilience. Together, the Water Institute and CWPPRA outreach staff were able to meet local citizens and listen to their concerns as coastal residents. Residents had the opportunity to learn different restoration techniques used in projects along the coast in CWPPRA’s Partners in Restoration book and Wetland Jeopardy while kids were given Henri Heron Louisiana Wetland activity books and wetland hero coloring sheets.

 

Losing Wetlands

Did you know:

Since 1930, Louisiana has lost 1,900 square miles of wetlands. That is enough land to equal the size of Delaware.

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The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act is fighting land loss by utilizing several restoration techniques for land preservation and creation. Some of CWPPRA’s restoration techniques include:

  1. Barrier Islands
  2. Marsh Creation
  3. Shoreline Protection
  4. Hydrologic Restoration
  5. Terracing
  6. Freshwater and Sediment Diversions

 

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BugBlitz 2016

The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve celebrated the centennial of the National Park Service at The Barataria Preserve by hosting BugBlitz on Friday, May 6th. turtle habitatThis Biodiversity University Science & Nature Festival was held to encourage nearly 500 local K-12 students to learn science and environmental concepts hands-on. Among the exhibitors of scientists, expert naturalists, and researchers were the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act’s Public Outreach staff. The CWPPRA Outreach staff exhibited the Where the Wild Things Are game in which students learn about coastal wildlife and environments by tossing bean bag animals intoanimals and students their correct habitats, such as marsh, swamp, barrier island, and ocean. CWPPRA outreach members offered Wetland Jeopardy for children and adults to test their coastal wetland knowledge. CWPPRA also displayed the Southeast Louisiana Land Loss map, along with Henri Heron’s Louisiana Wetlands activity books and wetland themed temporary tattoos and stickers.

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South Grand Chenier Marsh Creation-Baker Tract

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Marshes within Hog Bayou Watershed mapping unit are stressed due to limited freshwater input and seasonal salinity spikes exacerbated by construction of the Mermentau Ship Channel. Other contributors to land loss in the area are subsidence, compaction, and erosion of organic soils. Currently, the project area is characterized as large, open water with degraded areas of wetland vegetation and low organic production. The dredging of the Mermentau Ship Channel increased tidal amplitude and salt water intrusion into the watershed.

The goal of the project is to create new wetland habitat, restore dredged marsh, and reduce wave erosion of organic soils. the project would promote the expansion of emergent marsh and submerged aquatic vegetation throughout the project area. Material dredged from the Gulf of Mexico will be used to create and nourish approximately 420 acres of marsh. Smooth cordgrass will be planted throughout the area. To help facilitate estuarine fisheries access, constructed retention levees will be degraded and approximately 11,756 linear feet of tidal creeks will be constructed.

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The project is located in planning Region 4, Mermentau Basin in Cameron Parish within the Hog Bayou Watershed Coast 2050 mapping Unit. The mapping unit is bordered by Lower Mud lake to the west, the Gulf of Mexico to the south, Rockefeller Refuge to the east, and Louisiana Highway 82 to the north.

This project is on Priority Project List (PPL) 23. This project is currently in the Engineering and Design Phase.

The South Grand Chenier Marsh Creation – Baker Tract project’s sponsors include:

  • Federal Sponsor: Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Local Sponsor: Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

 

Learn more about this project (ME-32) and others on CWPPRA’s project page.

 

Waterfowl of the Wetlands

Did you know:

Louisiana’s coastal wetlands provide habitat for more than 5 million migratory waterfowl

Now more than ever, restoration and protection of coastal wetlands is crucial for more than just humans.  Wetlands are species-rich in diversity and house a large majority of migratory birds. Wildlife-based activities contribute a great amount of economic dollars into Louisiana, ranging from hunting, to watching, to research. If wetlands continue to diminish, Louisiana will no longer be known as “sportsman’s paradise”.

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Earth Day 2016

On Sunday, April 17th, downtown Baton Rouge was filled with free exhibitors, music, arts, and food to celebrate and educate the community on Earth’s natural resources. LA Earth Day LogoSituated between the Old State Capitol and the Old Governor’s Mansion, this annual event is managed by Louisiana Earth Day, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to environmental education.

 

The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act was among several exhibitors in the Wetlands Tent sponsored by CH2M.  CWPPRA’s exhibit included multiple free publications, a CWPPRA project fact book, and a Wetland Jeopardy game. The CWPPRA Public Outreach staff discussed the relevance of wetlands and coastal ecosystems through the explanation of current projects, as well as explaining how wetlands are a major contributor the health of our Earth.

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On April 22nd, the CWPPRA Public Outreach staff celebrated Earth Day at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Fete de la Terre festival. The outreach staff handed out publications, activity books, wetland hero coloring sheets, and coastal themed temporary tattoos.  Students and faculty were able to discuss current coastal projects and methods of restoration with the outreach staff.

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Learn more about CWPPRA’s future outreach events on the Louisiana Unified Coastal Community Calendar.