Louisiana Outer Coast Restoration Project
The Trustees propose to restore beach, dune, and back-barrier marsh habitats at four barrier island locations in Louisiana. From west to east, the four locations are Caillou Lake Headlands (also known as Whiskey Island), Chenier Ronquille, Shell Island (West Lobe and portions of East Lobe), and North Breton Island. The total estimated cost to implement Louisiana Outer Coast Restoration is $318,363,000.
Background and Project Description
The goal of Louisiana Outer Coast Restoration is to restore beach, dune, and back-barrier marsh habitats in Louisiana, as well as brown pelicans, terns, skimmers, and gulls to help compensate the public for Spill-related injuries to these habitats and species. The restoration work proposed at each island involves placement of appropriately sized sediments to create beach, dune, and back-barrier marsh 5 areas; installation of sand fencing to trap and retain wind-blown sediments and foster dune development; and revegetation of appropriate native species in dune and back-barrier marsh habitat. Sediment will be pumped from appropriate borrow area locations specific to each island and conveyed to the restoration sites through temporary pipeline corridors. The restoration methods proposed here are established methods for this type of restoration activity. Restoration at Louisiana Outer Coast Restoration locations has a history of support and project development; NRDA funding is necessary, however, for construction at these locations to move forward. Construction of the Caillou Lake Headlands was the selected restoration alternative for that location in the Terrebonne Basin Barrier Shoreline Restoration (TBBSR) Integrated Feasibility Study and Final Environmental Impact Statement (USACE 2010). The Chenier Ronquille barrier island restoration was authorized in 2010 as a candidate project under the 1990 Coastal Wetland Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) and received design phase funding under CWPPRA. Plans and proposals to restore Shell Island have been developed in multiple documents since 1998 (LCWCRTF and WCRA 1998), including the Barataria Basin Barrier Shoreline Restoration Project (USACE 2012). Caillou Lake Headlands, Chenier Ronquille, and Shell Island are included in Louisiana’s Master Plan (CPRA 2012). North Breton Island, part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge (Breton NWR), is recognized as an important bird area due to the resources it provides to birds. However, erosion from storms constitutes a major and ongoing threat to the island, its habitats, and the breeding bird colonies it supports (Martinez et al. 2009; Lavoie 2009). Several alternatives to restore North Breton Island have been discussed, including those evaluated as part of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) Ecosystem Restoration Plan Final Feasibility Report (Thomson et al. 2010).