Project Spotlight: US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Northwest Turtle Bay Marsh Creation (BA-125)

US Fish and Wildlife Service has managed over 40 CWPPRA projects to date, benefitting over 20,600 net acres across Louisiana’s coast. Their Northwest Turtle Bay Marsh is the first of its kind and was completed in May 2021.

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

Northwest Turtle Bay Marsh Creation (BA-125) is located in Jefferson Parish between Turtle Bay and Bayou Rigolettes.  The project area is primarily owned by ConocoPhillips.

What was the timeline for this project?

Construction began in April 2019 and was completed in May 2021. 

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

The base project (original construction contract) included 791 acres of marsh creation.  Due to a very favorable bid, the project was expanded by 315 acres.  Total cost was $24M.  The project was constructed by Coastal Dredging Company. 

What is most important/impactful about this project? 

The project will work synergistically with several existing and planned projects on the Barataria Basin Landbridge, an important landscape feature across the central Barataria Basin.

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

One thing unique about this project is that it was the first CWPPRA project to be designed with a semi-contained marsh creation feature.  Most CWPPRA marsh creation projects are designed and constructed utilizing a fully-contained system where the entire marsh creation area is surrounded by containment dikes to retain the dredged material.  One marsh creation unit of the BA-125 project was designed using only partial containment.  The surrounding, adjacent marsh was used as natural containment and only tidal channels and breaches through the adjacent marsh were plugged.  We believe this technique allows for more rapid colonization by native marsh vegetation and allows better tidal connectivity with surrounding areas.  This semi-contained technique was also utilized in the 315-acre expansion area. 

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