The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has prepared the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Draft Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #1.3: Rabbit Island Restoration and Shoreline Protection at Jean Lafitte Historical National Park and Preserve (Phase 2 RP/EA #1.3) proposing construction activities to help restore injured resources under two restoration types identified in the Final PDARP/PEIS: “birds” and “habitat projects on federally managed lands”. The two projects were approved for engineering and design (E&D) in a 2017 restoration plan entitled Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Final Restoration Plan #1: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats; Habitat Projects on Federally Managed Lands; and Birds (Phase 1 RP #1).
The Phase 2 RP/EA #1.3 analyzes design alternatives for the two projects and proposes a preferred design alternative for construction of each. The proposed Rabbit Island project would meet the goal of restoring and conserving birds by restoring 87.8 acres of the island’s original 200-acre footprint for bird habitat. This would be done by raising the elevation of Rabbit Island using dredged fill material from the Calcasieu Ship Channel as the borrow source area. The proposed Jean Lafitte project would protect the shoreline and provide conditions for submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) to thrive, a nearly continuous rock breakwater would be implemented, with rock elbows protecting fish gaps and existing infrastructure along the eastern shorelines of Lake Cataouatche, Lake Salvador, and Bayou Bardeaux in the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. The northern portion of the rock breakwater would extend approximately 5.3 miles from Bayou Verret to tie into an existing riprap shoreline protection project at Lake Salvador near Couba Island with canal openings and pipeline right-of-way (ROW) access where needed. The southern portion of the proposed rock breakwater would tie into the southernmost end of the pre-existing riprap shoreline protection and extend approximately 2.2 miles to the area near Isle Bonne with pipeline ROW access where necessary. In Phase 2 RP/EA #1.3, the LA TIG is proposing to fund and implement only the southern portion at this time.
The LA TIG will host a public webinar on December 2, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. CST. The public may register for the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/576465552592329228. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the webinar. You may submit comments on the draft Phase 2 RP/EA #1.3 by one of the following methods:
- Via U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 29649, Atlanta, GA 30345. To be considered, mailed comments must be postmarked on or before the comment deadline.
- During the public webinar: Written comments may be provided by the public during the webinar.
We welcome comments on Phase 2 RP/EA #1.3 and will consider public comments received on or before December 20, 2019. After the public comment period ends, the LA TIG will review, consider, and address public comments before releasing a final plan and environmental assessment.