Millions Approved for Beach and Dune Restoration Project in LaFourche

by | 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 storms.

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 provide."

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.

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