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.
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