Marsh creation project slated for Golden Meadow

01 21, 2016 by Houma Courier

A project to restore more than 60 acres of marsh in Golden Meadow is expected to start this spring.

The project, broken into two phases, will help restore the area between Catfish Lake and the south Lafourche levee system.

The Lafourche Parish Council voted Tuesday to work with Ducks Unlimited on the project and set aside $250,000. About $385,000 will come from the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and $450,000 from ConocoPhillips.

Leslie Suazo, coastal restoration coordinator for Ducks Unlimited, said the first phase of the project will build about 30 acres of marsh. The second, adjoining phase will build another 30 acres and help restore an additional 20 to 25 acres.

The effort builds off of a 2010 Coastal Impact Assistance Program project that targeted degraded marsh subjected to subsidence, saltwater intrusion and erosion.

In addition to creating habitat, the project will also help protect the toe of the south Lafourche levee from daily wave action and tidal action, Suazo said.

Joe Fifer, an engineer for Ducks Unlimited who is working on the project, said the new marsh will be fully contained and the dredge material will be taken from the northwest side of Catfish Lake, about two miles away from the project site.

Both phases of the project should be start around April or May and should take about two months to complete, Fifer said.

Meanwhile, Ducks Unlimited is wrapping up a marsh terracing project along Bayou L’Ours on the east side of the south Lafourche levee system.

Terracing involves building multiple strips of marsh to help reduce wave action and facilitate growth of plants in the water between the terraces.

The marsh terracing project has an overall footprint of 1,200 acres and the third phase should be completed by the end of March, Fifer said.

The terracing project was paid for with money from Ducks Unlimited, North American Wetlands Conservation Council, ConocoPhillips and Lafourche Parish.

Suazo said that while Ducks Unlimited’s funding partnership with ConocoPhillips makes projects in the area possible, the organization tries to serve local interests, such as protecting the south Lafourche levee system.

“We have tried to select projects that are important to ConocoPhillips as a major landowner in coastal Louisiana, that create great duck habitat because we are a waterfowl conservation organization, but also that meet local needs and priorities,” she said.