The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration (CWPPRA) Technical Committee has recommended approval for Phase 1 (design/engineering) of the Bayou La Loutre Ridge Restoration and Marsh Creation project in eastern St. Bernard Parish. The project will restore approximately 5.5 miles of historic forested ridge along Bayou La Loutre and will create or nourish over 380 acres of marsh. It is estimated that the total overall project cost will be $29.4 million. Design and engineering is projected to begin in 2017.
Restoration of the Bayou La Loutre ridge has been included in multiple coastal planning documents for over a decade, including Louisiana’s 2012 Coastal Master Plan. The St. Bernard Parish Coastal Zone Advisory Committee (CZAC) designated the project as a top priority for the parish in 2015 and the Natural Resources Conservation Service partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency to nominate the project for CWPPRA funding in early 2016. The CZAC and St. Bernard Parish Council subsequently approved the project as a top tier priority in St. Bernard’s 2016 Coastal Strategy Document, which was adopted in August. The project was voted #1 by stakeholders in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin and was ultimately endorsed by eighteen nongovernmental organizations, community groups, and coastal scientists from around the region. St. Bernard Parish Government officials lobbied extensively on behalf of the project leading up to the CWPPRA Technical Committee vote on December 7th.
“I am very proud of our coastal department and our advisory committee for their dedicated service to our community in obtaining this important project. Our administration is dedicated to enhancing and preserving the culture of eastern St. Bernard Parish,” said Parish President Guy McInnis.