This headland experiences some of the highest shoreline retreat rates in the nation, measuring over 100 feet a year in some locations. As the gulf encroaches upon the shoreline, sand is removed and the headland erodes. What was once a continuous shoreline spanning several miles has been reduced to less than half its original length. Furthermore, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita removed most of the emergent headland and dunes west of the pass. This headland helps provide protection to interior marshes and the Port Fourchon area; however, its continued degradation threatens the fragile bay habitat and infrastructure it once protected.
This project will reestablish the West Belle headland by rebuilding a large portion of the beach, dune, and back barrier marsh that once existed. Approximately 9,800 feet of beach and dune will be rebuilt using nearly 2.8 million cubic yards of dredged sand, and 150 acres of marsh habitat will be rebuilt using nearly 1.4 million cubic yards of dredged material. Native vegetation will be planted upon construction to help stabilize the rebuilt marsh and dune habitat.
The project is located along the Chenier Caminada headland to the west of West Belle Pass, at the southeastern edge of Timbalier Bay in Lafourche Parish, Lousiana.
This project was approved for engineering and design in October 2006. Construction funds were approved by the Task Force in late 2009, construction began fall 2011, and construction was completed in October 2012.
This project is on Priority Project List 16.
Federal Sponsor: NOAA NMFS
Local Sponsor: CPRA