In September 2020, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced that $114.7 million in Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) funding had been approved to construct the Lake Borgne Marsh Creation (Increment 1) project near Shell Beach. It is anticipated that the project will create over 2,800 acres of marsh, making it the largest marsh creation project in the state’s history. Engineering and design for the project have already been completed and construction is scheduled to begin in 2021.
The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) also recently announced that an additional $3.5 million in NRDA funding had been allocated to complete engineering and design for the Isle au Pitre Restoration project. This project is intended to restore bird habitat and nesting conditions in the Biloxi Marsh by dredging sediment to elevate portions of Isle au Pitre, planting vegetation, installing shell rakes, and placing shells or limestone on the perimeter of the island. NRDA funding will be utilized to cover the entire cost of the project, which is estimated to be $40 million.
St. Bernard Parish Government (SBPG) is also pleased to announce that the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently awarded $2,599,027.82 to the parish for the construction of the Bayou Terre aux Boeufs Ridge Restoration (Phase 2) project. Phase 1 of the project was completed in June 2020. The total construction cost for Phase 2 (approximately $5.2 million) will be split between the NFWF grant, SBPG RESTORE Act Direct Component funds, and other sources. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2021.
Phase 2 of the Bayou Terre aux Boeufs project includes the installation of 6,200 linear feet of limestone along the western bank of the bayou from where the previously installed rocks terminate, extending northbound to Bayou Lery. The project also includes the planting of a 68-acre cypress/tupelo forest on the recently completed marsh creation site just north of Bayou Lery and west of Bayou Terre aux Boeufs.
“We have been working closely with our partners to plan, design, and construct a variety of impactful coastal restoration projects across St. Bernard Parish,” said President Guy McInnis. “Between the three projects referenced here and the recently funded CWPPRA project, we are finally in a position where our investments in planning and design are paying dividends in terms of getting projects constructed.”