The Louisiana coast has been deteriorating at an alarming rate for quite some time now, with an estimated loss of 20 square miles of coastal land per year. Hopefully, with this year’s coastal restoration plan, the number decreases. Thankfully, Stan’s Airboat & Marsh Excavator Service specializes in pipeline management and coastal land reclamation to protect the environment all the while keeping oil flowing. Combined with the 2019 coastal reclamation plan, Stan’s hopes to make a difference in the environment this coming year.
Why Should You Care?
As the Louisiana coast disappears, it exposes the underwater pipeline network that’s been protected by marsh for so many years. During the next 25 years, over 610 miles of pipeline could become exposed if our coast keeps deteriorating at this rate. This in turn leaves the potential for $100 billion worth of damage to our tanks, ports, pipelines, and refineries.
As Louisiana’s swamplands and barrier islands wither away, flood risk increases due to the fact that there is less land to buffer storms and waves before they hit the coast.
Here are some of the ways the state of Louisiana is trying to restore the coast and prevent further damage in 2019.
Funding for Coastal Restoration
The money Louisiana has obtained from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is being used to compensate for the damage caused to our natural resources, as well as to create living shoreline projects and marsh. This settlement delegates almost $1.27 billion to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) explicitly for barrier island and diversion projects in Louisiana. Another important thing to note in 2019’s fiscal year is Louisiana’s first payment under Phase II of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA). Revenues from this act will mainly fund hurricane protection projects like pump stations, levees, surge barriers, and floodgates throughout the state’s coast.
Below are 5 anticipated projects aimed at helping to protect and rebuild the coast during the 2019 fiscal year.
The goals of this project include generating roughly 35,000 LF of earthen terraces; restoring/creating more than 350 acres of coastal marshland, and to reinstate hydrologic connectivity.
This project aims to boost sediment and freshwater flow to interior wetlands by enhancing project area hydrology as well as caring for and building 415 acres of brackish marsh in newly formed open shallow water. This project’s construction should be completed in the spring.
BA-0075-1 Jean Lafitte Tidal Protection
The goal of this project is to raise 15,840 linear feet of current earthen levee to increase flood protection. It will also include roughly 7,600 linear feet of concrete capped, steel sheet pile floodwall and flood gates. It is estimated to be completed in March.
This project aims to create roughly 465 acres of marsh north of Bayou DeCade, between Bayou DeCade and Lake Pagie, and alongside the northwestern Lost Lake shoreline. This should protect/restore some crucial components of the structure’s framework.
The goals of this project are to nurture and restore the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife refuge marsh that’s been damaged by hurricanes, as well as the neighboring Calcasieu Lake brackish marshes. Roughly 3 million cubic yards of material will be borrowed from a suggested site within the Calcasieu Lake and relocated north of the Grand Bayou into two marsh creation regions, to nurture roughly 7 acres of brackish marsh and rebuild 609 acres.
Overall, the 2019 fiscal year will continue to see lots of coastal restoration projects. As of now, there are two projects in the planning phase (one restoration project and one protection project), 42 restoration projects in the design phase, 21 projects that will continue or start construction (this includes 10 protection projects and 11 restoration projects), and 11 of projects that are estimated to complete construction in the 2019 fiscal year.