Cooperation is Key

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. [1] 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.

[1] http://asbpa.org/2019/05/20/celebrating-americas-beaches-asbpa-names-its-best-restored-beaches-for-2019/

https://www.lacoast.gov/reports/project/20180601_BI_lessons_learned_SOC18__Darin_Lee.pdf

 

Featured image from https://www.audubon.org/magazine/fall-2017/louisiana-restoring-its-barrier-islands-defend

Holly Beach Sand Management (CS-31)

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The Chenier Plain shoreline was created with sediment transported by the Mississippi River’s periodic westward oscillation. The swales that characterize the Chenier Plain were created by the deposition of these alluvial sediments, and these same sediments also served to extend the shoreline gulfward and create the area’s expansive mudflats.

Chronic erosion in this area is caused by a lack of sand and sediment caused by the channelization and regulation of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers to the east. In addition, the Calcasieu and Mermentau rivers are not supplying coarse-grained sediment to the area, and the Cameron Jetties associated with the Calcasieu Ship Channel deflect the little material that does exist away from the project area.

The project’s goals are: (1) to protect approximately 8,000 acres of existing, low energy intermediate and brackish marsh wetlands north of the forested ridge and (2) to create and protect roughly 300 acres of beach dune and coastal chenier habitat from erosion and degradation.

The project also provides protection for the wooded chenier to the west, which has been purchased by the Baton Rouge Audubon Society. It is being maintained as a sanctuary because of its importance as habitat for Neotropical migratory birds.

The project plan consists of placing approximately 1.7 million cubic yards of high quality sand on the beach to reestablish a more historical shoreline, as well as improve the effectiveness of the existing segmented breakwater system.

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The project is located west of Calcasieu Pass along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline, extending between Holly Beach and Constance Beach in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

This project was selected for Phase 2 (construction) funding at the August 2001 Louisiana Coastal Wetlands Conservation and Restoration Task Force meeting. Since that time, 1.75 million cubic yards of sand were added to the beach. Sand placement was completed in March 2003.

Project staff installed 102,000 linear feet of vegetative plantings at dune elevation on the Holly Beach dredge platform; 20,400 four-inch containers of bitter panicgrass (Panicum amarum) were planted. The installation of the plantings was completed in August 2003. Cameron Parish believes this project is what saved HWY 82 from being washed out during Hurricane Rita.

This project is on Priority Project List 11.

The Federal Sponsor is NRCS

The local sponsor is CPRA

South Lake De Cade Freshwater Introduction (TE-39)

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The project area is experiencing marsh deterioration due to subsidence, rapid tidal exchange, and human-induced hydrologic changes that result in increased salinities. Saltwater intrusion has caused a shift in marsh type and a conversion of over 30 percent of emergent vegetation to open water habitat. Shoreline erosion along the south embankment of Lake De Cade threatens to breach the hydrologic barrier between the lake and interior marshes.

Proposed project components include installing three control structures along the south rim of the lake and enlarging Lapeyrouse Canal to allow the controlled diversion of Atchafalaya River water, nutrients, and sediments south into project area marshes. Outfall management structures are planned in the marsh interior to provide better distribution of river water. In addition, approximately 1.6 miles of foreshore rock dike is planned to protect the critical areas of the south lake shoreline from breaching.

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The project is located in Terrebonne Parish, approximately 15 miles southwest of Houma, Louisiana.

After initial engineering investigation, the project was divided into two construction units. Construction unit one consisted of the shoreline protection only and was completed in July 2011. Construction unit two consisting of the freshwater introduction component was further investigated and due to uncertainty of benefits was not constructed, and therefore, the project is considered completed.

This project is on Priority Project List 9.

The Federal Sponsor is NRCS

The Local Sponsor is CPRA

Regional Planning Teams

This week, CWPPRA was scheduled to hear proposals for potential projects that will compete for funding in the upcoming fiscal year. FY19 is bound to have some fierce competitors, including some projects that may not have been awarded funding in previous years. In our Dec 12, 2018 post, we outlined a bit of the project selection process and we hope to see new and innovative ideas soon. At this time, the Regional Planning Team (RPT) meetings have been postponed following the government shutdown.

To reiterate the RPT process from the December 12th post, new projects are proposed annually across the coast. If any of our readers wish to propose a project this year, watch our newsflash for rescheduled meeting times in your region. Project proposals guidelines can be found on our Newsflash announcement. After each RPT meeting, the projects from each of CWPPRA’s 4 regions are compiled by RPT members and submitted to the next phase of competition. Each Parish and CWPPRA personnel submit a ranking of important projects, which helps the Technical Committee narrow down the list to 10 of the most promising projects. These 10 projects are further evaluated by CWPPRA working groups to look at environmental impact, engineering concepts, and other important aspects of each proposal, then the Technical Committee selects 4 to recommend to the Task Force for Phase I Engineering & Design.

In December 2018, the CWPPRA Technical Committee narrowed 10 potential Phase I projects down to 4 and the list for Phase II approval to 2 projects. The Task Force was scheduled to meet January 24th, 2019 to approve the recommended projects but, since the federal government was still partially closed, some of the critical task force representatives were unable to meet that day and so that meeting will be replaced with an electronic vote.

This latest government shutdown may have thrown a wrench into the CWPPRA process, our commitment to the coast is as strong as ever. We will continue to hear proposals, select projects, and work with our partners to construct projects that support the state of our coastline and all who live there. Watch for our Newsflash if you want to participate in our Project selection process; we look forward to helping you #ProtectOurCoast!

 

Featured image from https://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2016/05/03/science/isle-de-jean-charles-resettlement-plan.html

Planning for Coastal Changes Together

The Louisiana Coastal Master Plan strategically plans restoration and risk reduction projects for the current and future Louisiana coast. This state-wide plan is updated every 6-years and focuses on a 50-year view which “coordinates Louisiana’s local, state, and federal responses to land loss, and potential threats from hurricanes and storm surge events” [2]. The Master Plan was developed by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and models scientific data through different scenarios to determine which projects have priority. CPRA represents the State of Louisiana and contributes 15% of costs for Coastal Wetland Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) projects. Since all CWPPRA projects are partially funded by the state of Louisiana, then all CWPPRA projects must be consistent with the Coastal Master Plan.

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The Louisiana Coastal Master Plan is an example for communities around the world who are facing coastal land loss at home. For example there is a recent partnership agreement between the Dutch research institute Deltares and the  Water Institute of the Gulf in Baton Rouge. Therefore both institutions can benefit and contribute to the planning being done to preserve Louisiana coastal wetlands. Other areas facing coastal land loss, like Singapore, Indonesia, and Canada also have an interest in the work being done in Louisiana and the Netherlands [1]. By working together, communities in Louisiana and elsewhere can adapt to and protect changing coasts.

Click here to learn more about Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan.

Click here to learn about your flood zone in Louisiana.

Sources:

[1] Roberts, Faimon. Louisiana institute, Dutch research group launch partnership to study water issues. Available: https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/environment/article_35247102-635a-11e7-9176-9f60e4fab282.html [July 31, 2018].

[2] The Louisiana Coastal Master Plan. Available:http://coastal.la.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2017-Coastal-Master-Plan_Web-Book_CFinal-with-Effective-Date-06092017.pdf [July 31, 2018].

New Cut Dune and Marsh Creation (TE-37)

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* Problems:  New Cut was first formed in 1974 when the eastern end of Trinity Island was breached during Hurricane Carmen. This breach was further widened by Hurricane Juan in 1985 and Hurricane Andrew in 1992. — The Isles Dernieres shoreline is one of the most rapidly deteriorating barrier shorelines in the U.S., exhibiting a pattern of fragmentation and disintegration.  — With regard to long shore sediment transport systems or the movement of beach material by waves and currents, the islands have ultimately become sources of sediment themselves leading to an ever-decreasing volume of sediment.

* Restoration Strategy: The purpose of this project was to close the breach between Trinity and East Islands through the direct creation of beach, dune, and marsh habitat. This project also lengthened the structural integrity of eastern Isles Dernieres by restoring the littoral drift by adding sediment into the nearshore system (restoring about 8,000 linear feet of barrier island).
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* Location: New Cut is the breach between East and Trinity Islands in the Isles Dernieres barrier  island chain. The cut is bordered on the north by Lake Pelto, on the west by Trinity Island, on the east by East Island and on the south by the Gulf of Mexico, in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.
* Progress to Date: A rock dike and approximately 2 million cubic yards of dredged material reconstructed a dune and marsh platform to protect the shoreline from erosion and to restore interior marsh lost from subsidence and saltwater intrusion.
Phase 2 (construction) funding was initially approved at the January 2001 Louisiana Coastal Wetlands Conservation and Restoration Task Force meeting and additional funds allocated in 2006 to account for change in borrow site and post-hurricane increased construction costs. Dredging was completed July 2007. About 8,000 linear feet of barrier island was restored by placing approximately 850,000 cubic yards of material. New Cut was closed through the construction of a dune platform matching the dune elevations on the east and west, strengthening the connection between East and Trinity Islands. Nine species of native barrier island vegetation were planted along with over 17,000 linear feet of sand fencing. No maintenance is anticipated over the 20-year design life.
* This Project is on Priority Project List (PPL) 9.
* Federal Sponsor:
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  Dallas, TX
  (214) 664-6722
* Local Sponsor:
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West Belle Pass Barrier Headland Restoration (TE-52)

wordpress fact sheet banner TE-52-01.pngThis 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.

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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