| Tuesday, November 25, 2014 |
The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
has announced the approval of $146 million to fund a project to rebuild beaches
and dunes that protect the inland communities in Lafourche Parish from Gulf
The money is slated to fund the second part of the Caminada
Headland Beach and Dune Restoration Project in South Lafourche. Its aim is to add a barrier island shoreline
to protect the mainland from damage caused by storms in the Gulf.
The project will create approximately 489 acres of beach
and dune habitat, in addition to seven miles of beach being restored. It is expected to begin in spring of 2015 and
be completed within 18 to 24 months, depending on weather conditions.
Says Jerome Zeringue, Chairman of the Coastal Protection and
Restoration Authority, "One of the most important things is it provides us
the opportunity to advance the largest restoration project this agency has
undertaken. It's both large in magnitude and in significance in what it will
Zeringue also said that the beachfront protecting Port
Fourchon and local businesses has experienced substantial land loss. He said that “[i]n some instances, it's 45
feet per year."
The fund was established by the National Fish and Wildlife
Foundation following the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 to manage the
settlement money from the federal criminal charges against Transocean and
BP.The Gulf Environment Benefit Fund is
also paying for part of the project.
The first phase of the project could be completed as early
as December or early January, and it includes approximately 300 acres of beach
and dune habitat, along with six miles of beach. The contract for the construction of the
second phase was awarded to Weeks Marine, one of the largest tunneling and
marine contractors in the United States. The company has offices in Louisiana.
According to Stephen J. Chatry, Weeks Marine SVP, "The
restoration of coastal Louisiana represents a significant component of our
total market, and we consider ourselves fortunate to be in a position to
contribute, in a very tangible way, to this critical rebuilding effort."
The total project is the first time in Louisiana history
that sand has been dredge from an offshore shoal in federal waters in the Gulf
of Mexico. Over eight million cubic
yards is being dredged from ShipShoal, which is 27 miles away.