On April 19. 2022, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) announced the completion of the Cameron Meadows Marsh Creation and Terracing Project in Cameron Parish northwest of Holly Beach, Louisiana.
“What CPRA is doing in Cameron Parish and along Louisiana’s coast will be life changing for the region,” said State Senator Mark Abraham. “Creating more marsh is so important because it strengthens our natural buffer.”
“With the completion of this project, Cameron Parish gained hundreds of acres of vital marshland,” added State Rep. Ryan Bourriaque. “We are grateful for CPRA’s dedication to protection and restoration efforts across Southwest Louisiana,“.
Nearly 2 million cubic yards of sediment were dredged from the Gulf of Mexico and pumped 5 miles inland to build more than 300 acres of marsh and 2.3 miles of terraces to increase sediment deposition and reduce the impacts of wave erosion and saltwater intrusion.
“We are thrilled to deliver another large-scale restoration project to Southwest Louisiana,” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline. “For years, this region has felt the impact of major hurricanes, storms, and land loss at increasing rates. We know that with every acre of coastal land and marsh we restore, we strengthen the natural buffer between these forces and the people that call Southwest Louisiana home.”
This project addressed a large area of marsh that degraded into open water due to subsidence, saltwater surge from Hurricane Rita and other storms, excessive drought, and salt water retention as a result of silted-in canals which prohibited adequate drainage.
Laurie Cormier, Coastal Zone Manager for the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, commended the use of marsh restoration for strengthening hurricane protection. “The Cameron Meadows Marsh Creation Project is a great project that will bring nearly 2 million cubic yards of sediment to help protect the Chenier Plain.”
“This is part of our strategic plan for multiple lines of defense for the Chenier Plain which will protect Calcasieu and Cameron parishes for years to come. It has been a great partnership between the federal government, the State and the Parish,” she continued.
The $32 million project is funded by the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) and is a joint effort by CPRA and the federal sponsor, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Carrie Selberg, the director of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation, highlighted the project’s benefits to coastal habitat. “NOAA works through CWPPRA to restore coastal habitats and the benefits they provide to Louisiana communities, including critical protection from hurricanes and storms,” she concluded.
“We are excited to see this project successfully completed, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with CPRA to restore these important habitats,”
Construction was carried out by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock.
Featured photo (by Arthur Belala, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) shows Holly Beach in 1998, before it was completely destroyed by Hurricane Rita in 2005.