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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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SLLD partners to restore Golden Meadow marsh

SLLD partners to restore Golden Meadow marsh

The South Lafourche Levee District (SLLD) voted unanimously on Monday to become a partner in a project to protect and restore marsh between Catfish Lake in Golden Meadow and the levee district’s adjacent protection levee.

The Bayou Monnaie Marsh Terraces Project, Phase II, will construct marsh “terraces” or “sediment traps” on 541 acres, helping to protect the levee from storm wave action and increase waterfowl and fish habitat.

The terraces are a series of strips of parallel and adjacent land which are built in open water. The angled and zigzagging terraces also form a wave buffer during storms.

The terraces will ultimately encourage the growth of land between them in the hope of building new marsh in a watery area.

“Approximately 75 percent of the marsh vegetation in the Bayou Monnaie area has died,” said Mike Carloss, Ducks Unlimited’s manager of conservation programs, in a recent announcement of the project.

The loss, he said, has turned the area into an open, salty lake of little value in storm surge protection.

One million dollars in grant funding from the North American Wetlands Foundation (NAWCA) was procured by Ducks Unlimited to start the project.

Private partners such as ConocoPhillips, Louisiana Land and Exploration Company LLC, Ducks Unlimited, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Lafourche Parish Government, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and now SLLD, will match the initial funding with $2.3 million of their own dollars.

SLLD voted on Monday to give $100,000 toward the project.

Similar projects in east Golden Meadow and in Terrebonne Parish have been very successful, says Carloss.
SLLD General Manager Windell Curole said the parish has the permit in hand to start the project. The grant, he said will be submitted later in February, with approval probably in late 2016.

A similar project is located in the northwestern corner of Little Vermilion Bay at its intersection with the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana. The project area encompasses 964 acres of shallow bay bottom.