The American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) celebrates America’s beaches annually by highlighting recently restored recreational coastal areas. The Caminada Headland’s beach restoration is one of the four winners of the ASBPA’s Best Restored Beach award, alongside South Padre Island in Texas, Waypoint Park Beach in Washington, and Duval County in Florida.  The Caminada Headland restoration project was spearheaded by our state partner, CPRA, and multiple CWPPRA projects preceeded it and work synergistically to improve the entire Caminada barrier island system.
CPRA’s Caminada Headland Beach and Dune Restoration is a barrier island restoration project with two increments (BA-45 and BA-143) constructed in 2015 and 2017. Since the input of approximately 5.4 million cubic yards of sediment, the beach has improved habitat for shorebirds and plants. In addition to the direct benefits of the beach as a habitat, the healthy barrier island will better protect the marsh on the bay side as well as inland wetlands from storm surge and wave energy.
CWPPRA’s Caminada Headlands Back Barrier Marsh Creation increments 1&2 (BA-171, BA-193) is directly behind CPRA’s Caminada Headland Beach and Dune Restoration and greatly benefits from the project. Together CPRA and CWPPRA have restored a complete barrier island, which would have been difficult and costly to do without partners. Our coast’s future depends on the cooperation of organizations and their projects. Louisiana’s land loss crisis is too large to tackle in one way or by one group, and successful collaboration leads to the best available science, innovative design, and systems-based approaches. CWPPRA and our state partners are working towards a common goal: a healthy coast for the future of our state.
Featured image from https://www.audubon.org/magazine/fall-2017/louisiana-restoring-its-barrier-islands-defend
In 2013 the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) completed construction of the “Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Lake Borgne Surge Barrier”. The project is funded through the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) for southeast Louisiana and considered to be the largest civil works project in corps history. The barrier was built to combat storm surge heights like those observed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. More commonly known as the Great Wall of Louisiana, engineering innovations like a 1000 foot trestle allowed the project to be completed in about 3 years’ time instead of an estimated 20. The barrier wall is 1.8 miles in distance, 26 feet tall, and at an estimated construction cost of $1.1 billion federally funded dollars.
Louisiana contains 40 percent of the continental United States’ wetland acreage. Coastal wetlands can protect against storm surge energy and flooding by marsh grasses, trees, and soil working as as system. However Louisiana continues to lose wetlands due to problems like subsidence, sea-level rise, sediment deprivation, oil and gas development, and climate change. With an extreme need of wetland preservation, coastal agencies like CWPPRA and USACE are strategizing to combat these issues.
USACE is one of the five managing agencies of the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act. CWPPRA’s mission is to fund, plan, design, and construct restoration projects in coastal Louisiana at a large and fast pace scale. CWPPRA projects are synergistically funded through partner programs, such as the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Borgne Surge Barrier to protect, preserve, and restore Louisiana’s coast.
Featured Image Source: https://bit.ly/2MjEIyA
The planning process leading up to project selection includes the nomination of a project followed by development and evaluation of proposed projects based on engineering, environmental improvements, and economics.
A general breakdown of CWPPRA Project Selection is as follows:
- CWPPRA projects are brought to the Task Force by the public, local municipalities, state agencies, and federal partners.
- In January and February, each year 10-20 projects from each of the four regions become Priority Project List (PPL) candidates.
- Parish representatives then rank projects in each region, and by the end of the spring the Technical Committee selects 10 projects from the annual PPL candidate projects for further development.
- Of these 10 candidate projects, the Technical Committee recommends 4 projects for the design phase (Phase I) at their December meeting.
- The Task Force must approve the 4 projects for design at their next meeting in January.
- Projects already in design can request approval to proceed to Phase II for construction, and the Technical Committee will recommend 1-4 of these to the Task Force. Ultimately, the Task Force approves 1-4 of the recommended projects for construction.
- Following the Technical Committee’s meeting and PPL recommendations in December, the Task Force will meet to finalize the approved projects. This year’s Task Force meeting is scheduled for January 25th.
Stay up-to-date on the project selection for this year’s Priority Project List by visiting our website. You can read more about CWPPRA Project Selection in Understanding CWPPRA.
Did you know:
CWPPRA projects are constructed within 5-7 years from initiating engineering and design.
CWPPRA projects are built in a series of phases. The first in the series of phases is Phase Zero which includes conceptual project development. Once a project is approved through the CWPPRA selection process, the project undergoes two subsequent phases to completion. Following the initial phase is Phase One where a combination of pre-construction data collection and engineering and design is incorporated. Lastly, Phase Two encompasses construction, project management, construction supervision and inspection, and operations, maintenance, and monitoring or OM&M. CWPPRA serves as the foundation for the development of restoration science and identification of project needs that have become the platform for other restoration funding programs. Over 25 years, the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act has authorized 210 projects, benefiting approximately 100,000 acres.