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.
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:
- Federal Sponsor: National Marine Fisheries Service
- Local Sponsor: Coastal Protection and Restoration Act