By: Holly Duchmann, HoumaToday.com
Southeast Louisiana has nearly $1.2 billion in coastal restoration and protection projects that are completed or in the process of completion, including multimillion-dollar improvements for Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes this year.
The projects include:
Construction to rebuild Whiskey Island, a barrier island in Terrebonne Parish, began in March of last year and the project is on track to be finished this April, Terrebonne Parish President Gordon Dove said last week.
Ten million cubic yards of sand are being pumped onto the island as a part of the $103 million project. It is 65 percent complete with 7.5 million cubic yards of sand pumped so far, Dove estimates.
The island helps protect the parish from the tides of the Gulf of Mexico. The tides, with their high salt levels, have been slowly eating away the parish’s marshes, Dove said.
Cut Off/Pointe-aux-Chenes Levee
This $9.5 million project aims to improve more than two miles of existing levee near Cut Off in Lafourche Parish.
Construction is to continue through 2018.
Falgout Canal Floodgate
The $35 million Falgout Canal Floodgate in Dularge is under construction and should be finished in January 2019, though Dove said officials are are trying to speed it up for this upcoming hurricane season.
The 195-foot floodgate is “the final linchpin” for the Morganza-to-the-Gulf system from Bayou Dularge to Pointe-aux-Chenes, where the parish is most vulnerable, Dove said.
“We’ve made a lot of strides,” Dove said. “This didn’t happen overnight. It’s taken years to come to fruition and it’s a great thing for the future of
Restoration and Planting in the Des Allemands Swamp
Construction for this 2,395-acre project began last fall and is expected to be finished this spring.
Along with planting cypress and tupelo seedlings, this project will enhance drainage in the swamp, which is located south of Vacherie.
Once complete, the $7.8 million project is expected to benefit local wildlife and fish, as well as assist in storm buffering.