The Caminada Headland is located south and east of Port Fourchon in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. The headland is a 14-mile-long undeveloped beach that stretches from West Belle Pass on the west to Caminada Pass on the east.
With funding available from criminal fines as a result of the 2010 oil spill, the Caminada Headland Beach and Dune Restoration Project kicked back into high gear in 2015, thanks to over $144 million from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The funds, which are on top of the previous $70 million from the State for the first increment already constructed, will go a very long way—over 13 miles to be exact—to making this one of the most beautiful and most important beach habitats along the Gulf Coast.
Over the last 100 years, the Caminada Headland has experienced significant shoreline erosion and land loss, averaging 35 feet per year, to its marsh, wetland, beach and dune habitats as a result of storm overtopping and breaching, saltwater intrusion, wind and wave induced erosion, sea level rise and subsidence.
In total, the Caminada Headlands project aims to create and enhance nearly 800 acres of beach and dune, reinforcing miles of barrier headland habitat, reducing the impacts of storm events on Port Fourchon and Highway 1, a vital hurricane evacuation route for Fourchon and Grand Isle. The Caminada Headland also provides important habitat for nesting shorebirds as well as migratory birds as it is one of the first available stopover sites during migration. The headland is also critical habitat for the endangered Piping Plover.
3.3 million cubic yards of sand is being dredged and transported from Ship Shoal, an offshore borrow site 27 miles away in the Gulf of Mexico. This is the first time that sand from Ship Shoal—an abundant sediment source—is being used for a restoration project. The sand is being barged to a staging area near the mouth of Belle Pass, then is pumped via a pipeline for placement on the shoreline. As the project progresses, the pipeline will be extended along the six mile stretch.