The project would restore marsh to offset levels of historic and ongoing wetland loss. Based on USGS and analysis of 1978 to 2000 data and Corps of Engineers data from 1974 to 1990, land loss ranges from 4.8 acres to 18.8 acres per year from the project area. Saltwater intrusion, drought stress, and hurricane induced wetland losses have resulted in interior marsh breakup and coalescence of Oyster Lake with interior water bodies.
The primary goals of the project are to create approximately 475 acres of saline marsh in recently formed shallow open water and to nourish approximately 185 acres of saline marsh. In order to achieve these goals, sediment would be mined from the offshore disposal area used for CS-59 and placed in multiple disposal areas to create approximately 660 acres of saline marsh. Disposal areas would be constructed between the CS-59 marsh creation areas and terrace field depicted on the concept map (red polygon). Disposal would be semi-confined and up to half of the created elevations would be planted with smooth cordgrass plugs. Possible expansion of the marsh creation area is down on the concept map as yellow polygons. Although marsh creation via dedicated dredging of sediment would be the primary technique, opportunities may exist to include some terracing where warranted, but that is not included in the benefit/cost estimates at this time.
The project is located immediately south of Calcasieu Lake and west of the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Regional Planning Unit No. 4, Calcasieu-Sabine Basin, Cameron Parish, Louisiana.
This project is on Priority Project List (PPL) 25 and was approved for Phase I Engineering and Design in January 2016.
The Oyster Lake Marsh Creation and Nourishment project sponsors include:
- Federal Sponsor: National Marine Fisheries Service
- Local Sponsor: Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority