Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) has completed a $36 million marsh creation project benefitting 1,158 acres in south central Terrebonne Parish at Lost Lake, utilizing both dredge material and hydrologic control structures along bayous Carencro and Rice.
“From the time I took office, coastal protection and restoration has been a priority for my administration, and this is what progress looks like," said Gov. Edwards. "We're looking forward to several coastal restoration projects that are slated to get underway this year, all of which will benefit our communities and our people in both the long and short terms.”
North of Bayou DeCade a 22-acre site now contains 30,000 linear feet of earthen terraces that break up wave energy to lessen erosion, thus protecting additional areas inland while providing improved habitat for fish and wildlife. Five water control structures along the bayous will help maintain areas which have been traditionally fresher or more saline in the fluctuating estuarine environment. The variable and fixed-crest weirs are manually controlled and adjusted according to seasonal or other conditions.
“It was clear we needed to take action in an area of high loss,” said Interim CPRA Chairman Chip Kline. “And to benefit an area the size of 178 Superdomes in partnership with the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, La. Dept. of Natural Resources, and La. Oil Spill Coordinator's Office is a good way to kick off a new year.”
“Lake Pagie and Bayou Decade were essentially merging and indistinguishable because of marsh loss,” said CPRA project manager Kenneth Bahlinger. “Also, northeast of Lost Lake, the marsh had deteriorated into large areas of open water where wind and wave energy were causing even more marsh breakup. Add to that the damage caused by higher salinity water held in these areas during storm events. It was imperative we take action to regulate proper seasonal balances of fresh and salt water.”
Terrebonne Parish President Gordy Dove, who recently praised CPRA’s restoration of Whiskey Island below Cocodrie, is pleased with the Lost Lake project and the additional impact it will have on the area.
“Our marshes are very precious,” said Dove. “Combined with the earlier CPRA North Lake Mechant Land Bridge project, Lost Lake’s 1,100 acre restoration will have a huge effect in controlling high salinity and water levels. That means a lot to Terrebonne Parish and its people.”
The project area lies within the district of State Senator Norby Chabert.
“What we have accomplished here in the Lost Lake/Bayou Decade area is an important win in the long battle against coastal land loss in Terrebonne Parish,” said Chabert. “By implementing a system of restorative protection, we are revitalizing a vulnerable and highly utilized area in a way that will prove both beneficial and sustainable for years to come.”
In 2018, Louisiana's Coastal Program dredged 22 million cubic yards of sediment and created 4,753 acres of new land and marsh. Since 2007, the program has dredged 152 million cubic yards of material, benefiting 46,058 acres of land.
Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is the single state entity with authority to develop, articulate, implement, and enforce a comprehensive coastal Master Plan of unified vision, to reduce tropical storm surge flood impact, to restore our bountiful natural resources, to build land to protect our nation’s critical energy infrastructure, and to secure Louisiana’s coast now and for future generations.