Port Fourchon to create recreation area
As Port Fourchon continues to expand, its efforts have included benefiting the people who work there by creating a new recreation area.
For the Greater Lafourche Port Commission to continue creating a new docking facility, Slip D, state and federal regulatory agencies required 65 acres of wetland construction in a port-owned mitigation area north of the property.
But recently, the port amended the permit to allow the mitigation area to be immediately east of the new slip. The shift will result in over 90 acres of wetland construction and the possibility for over 40 additional acres of non-waterfront property intended for recreational use.
“As we got closer to construction on Slip D, we realized that if we shifted where we were going to build our mitigation area, we could create multiple wins for the environment, the port, our tenants and the public by building more marsh and opening it up for public access and education,” said Chett Chiasson, executive director of the Port Commission.
The current mitigation area is filled with water that eventually will become land with the goal to create an area that can be used by the people who work at the port.
“Currently, our tenants have thousands of employees who effectively live on property at their facilities during their shift at Port Fourchon, and you will see these folks walking or running for exercise or fishing alongside the roadways in the port. This project will give them a safer and more scenic space to be able to enjoy their non-working hours in Port Fourchon,” Chiasson said.
The port plans to open places to fish, kayak and birdwatch. The area can also be used for educational opportunities for schools and for scientists to observe and interact with newly restored marsh.
A creek will run through the completed marsh area to help improve fish and shellfish bird populations and plant habitats and will provide more areas to kayak through.
“We are really excited about this project creating the opportunities for people to be able to see up close how our development and mitigation works to generate great outcomes for both the energy industry we service and the environment that we love,” Chaisson said.
Posted on Tue, August 8, 2017
by By Garrett Ohlmeyer, Daily Comet Staff Writer