The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has released its Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #7: Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats, and Birds (PDF, 299 pages). Comments will be accepted through September 22, 2020, and Trustees are holding a public webinar on September 3. More information about how to submit public comment and attend the webinar is below.
The draft plan includes proposed projects that restore the Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitat and Birds restoration types. It includes five proposed preferred alternatives which have a total estimated cost of $234.1 million. The proposed preferred alternatives are:
- Isle au Pitre Restoration: This project would enhance nesting conditions on the existing island by elevating portions of the island with dredged sediment and planting suitable vegetation for nesting brown pelicans and wading birds, long strips of deposited shell (shell rakes) for American oystercatchers, and shell or small limestone on the perimeter of the island for tern and black skimmer nesting habitat. The estimated cost, for engineering and design only, is $3.5 million.
- Terrebonne Houma Navigation Channel Island Restoration: This project would enlarge the island from its current size of 32 acres to approximately 50 acres by importing dredged sediment from a nearby suitable sand source and disposing of it adjacent and onto the existing island. The estimated cost, for engineering and design only, is $3.1 million.
Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore Habitat:
- Grande Cheniere Ridge Marsh Creation: This project would create up to 624 acres of marsh near Bayou Grande Cheniere, approximately 12,480 linear feet of earthen ridge along Jefferson Canal, and approximately 48,900 linear feet of earthen containment dike. The estimated project cost, for construction and full implementation, is $65 million.
- Terrebonne Basin Ridge and Marsh Creation Project - Bayou Terrebonne Increment: This project would create up to 1,430 acres of brackish and saline marsh and restore up to 80 acres of earthen ridge. The estimated project cost, for construction and full implementation, is $156.5 million.
- Bird’s Foot Delta Hydrologic Restoration: This project would restore the hydrology of the Mississippi River Bird’s Foot Delta by dredging Pass-a-Loutre, South Pass, and Southeast Pass to reconnect the Mississippi River with the marshes of the eastern and central Bird’s Foot Delta. The estimated cost, for engineering and design only, is $6 million.
The restoration plan also includes two non-preferred alternatives, which are not summarized here.
Public Comment Period
Public comments, accepted through September 22, 2020, can be submitted online and through the mail.
September 3 Webinar
A public webinar will be held on September 3, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. CT to present the draft restoration plan and the proposed preferred alternatives. If you are unable to attend the webinar, the materials will be posted online shortly after the webinar on the Louisiana Restoration Area web page.