Multimillion-dollar coastal projects await funds

March 7, 2011 at 1:34 am

Coastal restoration projects in Southwest Louisiana will get around $1,180,000 for the fiscal year ending in 2012, according to the governor’s Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration.

The funding plan will likely undergo changes before being approved by the Legislature this year.

The report compiled at the end of February outlines hundreds of projects and studies — most stretching across multiple fiscal years — that are funded by the state and a variety of federal agencies.

Some projects are listed as necessary but unfunded because the projected revenue for the state office in FY2012 is $391,074,134, with projects listed costing $439,737,800.
Projects in the works

In the southern part of Calcasieu Parish, about $2.6 million is scheduled to be spent restoring marsh and levees in Horseshoe Lake and parts of the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway.

On the waterway, two 36-inch culverts would replace damaged ones and three miles of levee would be refurbished.

The Horseshoe Lake leg would include 1,200 acres of marsh restoration in four steps — two water control structures, four miles of new levee construction, the repair of one mile of levee and a construction of a four-mile rock dike along the Intercoastal Waterway.

In Cameron Parish, one of the largest multiyear projects is the $19 million Black Lake Beneficial Use Disposal Area, which will pump in about 1.9 million cubic yards of dredging material to create around 440 acres of marsh. A 10.2-mile pipeline will move the dredging material, which is coming from the Calcasieu Ship Channel.

At a cost of around $10 million, about 750,000 cubic yards would be pumped into Sabine National Wildlife Refuge for marsh creation.

The following are other projects awaiting funds:

• Cameron Parish Shoreline Restoration: This three-year project will cost about $45,800,000, with $2.9 million allocated for FY2012. It will rebuild 8.7 miles of dunes and beachhead from the Calcasieu River Jetty to the Holly Beach-Constance Beach breakwater field. The project is in its engineering and design phase, which means engineers and biologists are assessing the effectiveness of the project.

• Cameron-Creole Freshwater Introduction Vegetative Plantings: This multiyear restoration project includes saving 22,247 acres of marsh and open water by pumping in freshwater and planting native vegetation.

• Little Pecan Bayou Hydrologic Restoration: Fresh water will be pumped into the brackish marsh south of La. 82

• Bioengineered Oyster Reef Demonstration: This project in the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge places a 1,000-foot-long oysterbreak — a shore protection device — west of Joseph Harbor Canal. Using agricultural byproducts as attractants, it should develop into a full oyster reef, which would help prevent shoreline and wetland loss by absorbing wear from waves and storms.

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