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In the News

Oyster Bayou Marsh project nearly finished

By Cyndi Sellers

 

Coastal Issues Discussed

The Cameron Parish Police Jury has declined to take action on beachfront ordinance changes proposed by the two Beachfront Development Districts.

At their agenda meeting last Thursday, Oct. 5, Jury President Curtis Fountain suggested waiting until the coastal erosion study being conducted by the US Army Corps of Engineers through a Planning Assistance to the States grant is complete, approximately six months from now, before taking any action.

Parish Administrator Ryan Bourriaque said the Parish is partnering on a 50/50 cost share basis with the USACE in the preparation of “a Comprehensive Coastal Erosion Management Plan that will identify the major causes of coastal erosion in the Parish and identify potential alternatives for future implementation.”

Potential alternatives will be evaluated based on considerations including existing real estate and rights of way, constructibility, permitting, environmental impacts, benefits, cost, and operation and maintenance. Potential funding sources will also be identified.

Bourriaque said the USACE study will seek long term solutions, but short term solutions are also needed, which the Beachfront Development District boards tried to provide. “We will have to address this issue if we are ever awarded coastal funds,” he said. “Coastal integrated projects cannot have vehicle access period, according to state law.”

CPRA Projects Explained

The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is currently working on a number of projects in Cameron Parish, and SWLA Regional Operations Manager Pat Landry gave an overview of nine projects currently under construction or in the planning stages.

The Oyster Bayou Marsh Creation Project, located just north of LA 27/82 between Holly Beach and the Calcasieu River, is nearly complete. It is using sediment mined from five miles offshore to create 815 acres of marsh in an area that had become open water due to salinity and storm action.

At one point the pumps were moving 80,000 to 100,000 cubic yards of fill per day, a feat which brought the project in ahead of schedule. The contractor, Weeks Marine, is now demobilizing and rehabilitating the oilfield road used for the work.

Work is just beginning on the Cameron-Creole Marsh Creation Project, a 617 acres project on Miami Corporation and Cameron Prairie Refuge land north of Cameron. Sediment will be pumped from a borrow site in Calcasieu Lake. The $8.2 million project is expected to be complete by December 2018.

The Rockefeller Refuge Shoreline Protection Project was recently awarded to LeBlanc Marine of New Iberia. A three mile stretch of coastline, “one of the most highly eroded areas in Louisiana,” will be protected with lightweight aggregate rock breakwaters, a system that was tested and found to be the best for the local conditions. Construction is expected to begin in March 2018 with completion in early 2019.

Future marsh creation projects in the funding pipeline include Cameron Meadows Marsh Creation, 400 acres of marsh and 12,000 feet of terraces north of Johnson Bayou; South Grand Chenier Marsh Creation, 430 acres west of Rockefeller Refuge; and No Name Bayou Marsh Creation, 500 acres south of Calcasieu Lake and east of the Old River.

Funds are being requested for the Cameron-Creole Freshwater Introduction Project to be located south of the Intracoastal Waterway. Terraces, 8000 feet of rock shoreline on the GIWW, and sheet pile structures with eight 5-foot openings on the waterway are to be constructed at a cost of $15 million.The CWPPRA funding process is competitive, and this project is one of six or seven that will be presented at the technical committee meeting in December.

To read the rest of this story, please see page two of the print edition of The Cameron Parish Pilot.

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