Project Spotlight: Army Corps of Engineers – West Bay Sediment Diversion (MR-03)

One of the first uncontrolled sediment diversions built specifically for coastal restoration, the West Bay Sediment Diversion has built over 3,500 acres of intermediate marsh.

What is the name of the project, and where is it located? 

West Bay Sediment Diversion (MR-03) by the Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District. 

The diversion site is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, 4.7 miles above Head of Passes. The project diverts Mississippi River water and sediments into West Bank.

What was the timeline for this project?

Construction started in September 2003 and was completed in November 2003.

How many acres of wetland does this project benefit/create? 

Since the project’s construction completion in November of 2003, approximately 3,500 acres of intermediate marsh have been gained in the project area through direct material placement and naturally occurring sedimentation. 

What is most important/impactful about this project? 

This project demonstrates the unique ability to restore land created by a diversion of the Mississippi River. Constructed in only three months through dredging, this project will continue to see benefits as long as the diversion remains open. 

Is there anything unique about this project you would like to bring attention to? 

The conveyance channel allows fresh water and sediment to flow from the Mississippi River to restore vegetated wetlands in an area that was shallow open water. This project relies on the constant presence and sediment trail traveling down the Mississippi. It is a use of Mississippi River that naturally rebuilds the Louisiana marsh. 

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