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Sunday, September 22, 2019

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Elmer’s Island beach to close for ongoing construction

Elmer’s Island beach to close for ongoing construction

Once finished, project will restore 13 miles of Louisiana barrier shoreline

Beginning on August 10, the beach area of Elmer’s Island will be closed for 12 days to the public as construction activities progress near the public parking area where the access road meets the beach.

Construction activities on the west side of Elmer’s Island access road will be near completion on August 22 and, once construction activities safely progress to the east past the parking area, foot traffic will reopen to the west side of the island.

Parking and pedestrian access areas will be marked accordingly.

Project construction is anticipated to continue on the east side of the island through the fall.

The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) is restoring the beach habitat of the Caminada Headland by transporting sand from Ship Shoal, an underwater sand body located approximately 30 miles away in the Gulf of Mexico to restore habitat on the barrier shoreline.

The restoration of the headland occurred in two project increments.

Increment I of the project (the western half) was completed in December of 2014 and restored approximately 300 acres and 6 miles of beach and dune habitat.

Increment I was funded with Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) and state surplus funds.

Increment II (the eastern half) is larger and will restore approximately 500 acres and 7 miles of beach and dune.

Increment II is being funded through the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, which was established by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to manage funds resulting from the settlement of federal criminal charges against BP and Transocean.

In total, the two projects will restore 13 miles of Louisiana’s barrier shoreline and represent one of the largest restoration projects ever constructed by the CPRA with a combined project investment of over $200 million.

“We are pleased with the progress being made on this project and are doing all we can to limit the impact to our recreational users and fishermen as construction activities continue,” said Charlie Melancon, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

“The Caminada Headlands project is significant in a number of ways: at over $200 million it is the largest restoration project CPRA has implemented to date; by fortifying 13 miles of the headland it will truly make an impact on the landscape; and it is significant because it represents the way that the work put into our Coastal Master Plan is now and will continue to be used to drive the implementation of the most crucial projects for our coast”, said CPRA Chairman Johnny Bradberry.