Bayou Bonfouca Marsh Creation

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The marsh in this area was fairly stable prior to Hurricane
Katrina in August 2005. There was extensive damage to the
marsh along the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and
especially localized in the marshes near Bayou Bonfouca
when the storm surge removed many acres of marsh. Marsh
loss rates should increase in the marsh surrounding these
newly created open water areas due to an increase in wind
driven fetch. Within the project area, the Lake Pontchartrain
shoreline erosion rates seem to be very low. Currently, there
is one large breach and several smaller ones in the Lake
Pontchartrain shoreline, with many more breaches seemingly
imminent. These breaches provide direct connection between
the fresher interior marshes and higher saline waters of Lake
Pontchartrain. The breaches in the bankline should be filled
before they grow to become a major exchange point causing
an increase in interior loss rates.

The primary goal of the project is to create 533 acres and
nourish 42 acres of low salinity brackish marsh in open
water areas adjacent to Bayou Bonfouca with sediment
pumped from Lake Pontchartrain.
This project would consist of placing sediment, hydraulically
dredged from Lake Pontchartrain, in open water sites to a
height of +1.2 NAVD 88 to create 458 acres and nourish
approximately 133 acres of marsh. Several historic marsh
ponds have been identified and would be restored. Tidal
creeks are also proposed to connect these ponds to facilitate
water exchange and fisheries access. Containment dikes
would be sufficiently gapped or degraded to allow for
fisheries access no later than three years post construction.

The project would result in approximately 424 net acres of
intermediate marsh over the 20-year project life.

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This project is located in Region 1, Pontchartrain Basin, St.
Tammany Parish. Parts of the project are located within Big
Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge adjacent to Bayou
Bonfouca.

This project is on Project Priority List (PPL) 20.

The Bayou Bonfouca Marsh Creation project sponsors include:

Keep up with this project and other CWPPRA projects on the project page.

CWPPRA Project Construction

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.

South White Lake Shoreline Protection

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The south shoreline of White Lake has been retreating at an estimated average rate of 15 feet per year as a result of wind-induced wave energy. If the shoreline would have continued eroding in the project area, low marsh management levees likely would have been breached, which would have increased interior marsh loss rates in the project area.

This project included constructing segmented breakwaters to protect approximately 61,500 linear feet of shoreline to protect 687 acres of shoreline and interior marsh over twenty years. The breakwaters were constructed with gaps to allow aquatic organisms and water to move freely. An estimated 270,000 tons of stone was placed on geotextile fabric. Material dredged to create a flotation channel was placed beneficially behind the breakwaters to create approximately 172 acres of marsh substrate.

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The project is located along the southern shoreline of White Lake from Will’s Point to the western shore of Bear Lake in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana.

Project construction was successfully completed in August 2006.

This project is on Priority Project List (PPL) 12.

The South White Lake Shoreline Protection project sponsors include:

Keep up with this project and other CWPPRA projects on the project page.

Managing Agencies

For 25 years, the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act has provided the only joint Federal/State coastal restoration effort with a predictable and recurring funding stream designed to restore the vanishing wetlands of coastal Louisiana. The CWPPRA program continues to pursue a full slate of coastal restoration activities, and its progress and experience provide the foundation for restoration supported by one-time funding from various other sources. CWPPRA represents a collaborative effort and is managed by a Task Force comprised of five federal agencies and the State of Louisiana. CWPPRA’s Managing Agencies include:

U.S. Department of the Army – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region 6

U.S. Department of Interior – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resource Conservation Service

U.S. Department of Commerce – NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service

State of Louisiana – Governor’s Office

The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is the local cost-share partner that matches 15% of CWPPRA’s federal funding.

Wild Things Festival 2016

On October 15, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hosted the 19th Annual Wild Things Festival at the Southeast Louisiana Refuge Headquarters in Lacombe, La. This exciting family-friendly event gives the community an opportunity to engage in outdoor activities while celebrating National Wildlife Refuge Week. This free public event included canoe and pontoon boat tours, hayrides, live animals, wildflower walks, kids activities, bird house building, live music, and a youth wildlife art competition.

The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act Public Outreach staff was among the 40 exhibitors providing hands-on activities to encourage knowledge of the Louisiana outdoors. In order to accurately portray the importance of aquatic, coastal regions, the CWPPRA staff utilized an ocean character, Sid the Restoration Squid, whose six unique legs each represented a different restoration method.  The six restoration methods include barrier island restorations, marsh creations, shoreline protection, hydrologic restoration, freshwater and sediment diversions, and terracing.  Each leg consisted of a distinct craft material that would correspond with a restoration method, in which children would assemble and personalize their own squid.  Each child’s personal squid was accompanied by an explanation guide of CWPPRA’s efforts to restore, protect, and/or create Louisiana’s wetlands.

South Lake Lery Shoreline and Marsh Restoration

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According to USGS-land loss analysis, much of the southern and western shorelines of Lake Lery and the surrounding wetlands were heavily damaged in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. In the years following this storm, wind induced waves within the lake have begun to cause further damage to the lake’s shorelines. Currently the shorelines have become so damaged that the interior emergent marshes that are still intact are being exposed to the damaging waves. This has caused an increased loss of emergent marsh habitat. Even with the benefits of the Caernarvon Diversion Structure, without some type of restoration in this area, these marshes may not be able to fully recover.

This is a marsh creation and shoreline restoration project. The marsh creation aspect of the project would utilize a hydraulic dredge to extract material form Lake Lery water bottoms and pump that material into contained marsh creation cells which are located south of Lake Lery. This will initially create and/or nourish approximately 496 acres of marsh (356 Net Acres at Target Year 20). The shoreline restoration project component would have a barge-mounted dragline excavating material from the bottom of Lake Lery and placing that material along 35,831 ft. of the southern and western Lake Lery shorelines. This restored shoreline would have a 50 foot crown width and be built to a height considered high intertidal marsh.

The lake side shoreline would have a 5:1 side slope which would be planted with smooth cordgrass and bullwhip. This would initially create 55 acres of marsh (50 Net Acres at Target Year 20) along the Lake Lery shoreline. Total created/restored marsh acreage for this project is 551 acres (406 Total Net Acres at Target Year 20).

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The project area is located in Region 2, within the Breton Sound Basin portion of Plaquemines Parish. The project is specifically located south of the Caernarvon Freshwater Diversion Structure and west of the town of Delacroix, southeast of New Orleans.

As of April 2016, this project is under construction with most of the lake shoreline restoration nearly completed on the southern shoreline. The western shoreline restoration feature is currently underway. There is one marsh creation cell that is nearly completed. A larger dredge will be arriving soon and marsh creation will accelerate. This project is on Priority Project List (PPL) 17.

The South Lake Lery Shoreline and Marsh Restoration project sponsors include:

Keep up with this project and other CWPPRA projects on the project page.

 

Shoreline Protection, Preservation, and Restoration Panel (SPPR Panel) (LA-280)

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The demonstration project would introduce an innovative solution for shoreline protection and dredge containment projects, which can be installed at a significant savings to the project owner. The demonstration project would help reduce shoreline retreat in areas that have experienced excessive amounts of erosion and would also have the intent to offset increased rates of land loss to wetlands that come exposed due to the loss of protective shoreline features through the protection of the shoreline and collection/retention of suspended sediments behind the structures.

Historically Louisiana’s coastal shoreline, bays, and lake rims have experienced high levels of retreat and land loss. The approach to repairing these areas have utilized heavy, hard engineering methods that eventually settle into the substrate,which has not achieved the goal and even presented additional hazards. Through the use of pre-fabrication of the proposed units, the landowner will see a 60%-80% reduction in installation costs when compared to typical rock rip-rap construction.

The proposed demonstration project would stabilize existing shoreline features and attenuate shoreline retreat and potentially enhance interior marshes and an accretion platform behind the structure. The goal of the proposed demonstration project is to provide a cost effective construction alternative to rip rap for shoreline protection.

The SPPR Panel is a pre-cast, saltwater tolerant concrete panel system (with no carbon steel reinforcement), the dimensions and density of which can be adjusted to site conditions. The SPPR Panel units resemble a chain when joined together allowing for on site adjustment to irregular shorelines. The project has several aspects, in that it is shoreline protection and restoration, marsh protection, restoration, and enhancement system that would deflect wave energy, protect and enhance vegetation, trap sediment, protect and create emergent marsh, and provide nursery habitat.

  1. The SPPR Panels have a variety of application possibilities that can be adjusted to best suite the problem area to best restore and enhance shorelines and marshes in many different types of coastal environments.
  2. Each panel has planned openings (vents) within the face of the unit that allows for some sediment to penetrate. The vents can be adjusted in size and location on the unit (depending on location and water depth) to allow for the most beneficial capture of available sediment.
  3. When connected, there is a 0.3′ to 0.5′ gap between SPPR Panels to allow for water drainage from behind the units, as well as, estuarine animal ingress/egress.

The demonstration project would include the selection of 2 application sites for treatment with water depths ranging from 2 to 5 feet. Each treatment would include 3 replicate 100-foot sections for a total project installation of 1,800 linear feet. Project effectiveness would be monitored and evaluated after construction according to the CWPPRA workgroups’ recommendation for the product in Phase 0. The conceptual treatment is shown in Figure 1.

By using a pre-cast SPPR Panel, owners can see significant savings from traditional rip-rap embankments by;

  • Project construction phase time is reduced
  • Reduced initial installation cost compared to rip rap embankments (60%-80% the cost of rip rap per linear foot depending upon water depths)
  • Reduced life-cycle cost compared to rip rap embankments (no additional lifts required)
  • Minimal settlement (designed for LA-16 Shark Island location which has 15′-20′ of peat…Engineering theory shows the units will only settle 6-9 inches)
  • Can be installed in water as shallow as 2-3 feet and as deep as 5 feet with minimal footprints
  • Provides fisheries access on landward side
  • Collects/retains suspended sediments

This project’s location is coastwide and is on Priority Project List (PPL) 25. This project was approved for Phase I Engineering and Design in January 2016.

The Shoreline Protection, Preservation, and Restoration Panel (SPPR Panel) project sponsors include:

Keep up with the progress on LA-280 and other PPL 25 projects.