On August 11, 2022, the Louisiana Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority (CPRA) announced the completion of the Bayou Decade Ridge and Marsh Creation Project in Terrebonne Parish.
The project recreated and nourished over 473 acres of marsh near Lake De Cade and restored over 11,000 feet of ridge habitat along the northern bank of the Bayou.
“Louisiana’s marshes are a major part of our natural defense against storms, which underscores the importance of projects like the one in Bayou Decade,” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline.
“We’re making progress across the state on projects that will shield our communities from the impacts of a changing climate,” he added.
The Terrebonne Basin has lost close to 20% of its wetlands since 1932 as a result of subsidence exaggerated by oil and gas canals and pipelines in the area.
Without intervention, a third of the basin’s remaining wetlands would have been lost to open water by 2020.
“Every acre of marsh we are able to restore means better protection across the state,” said CPRA Executive Director Bren Haase.
“It’s critical for us to take on projects like this to not just restore what we’ve lost, but restore wetlands in ways that strengthen them and prevent future deterioration,” he continued.
CPRA partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on the $14 million project using funds from the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act (CWPPRA).
“NOAA works through CWPPRA to restore habitats like wetlands and barrier islands in Louisiana—areas that are often the first line of defense protecting coastal communities against damage caused by storms and flooding,” said Carrie Selberg Robinson, director of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation.
“We are excited to see this project completed, and look forward to continuing to partner with CPRA on projects that support fisheries, habitats, and communities in Louisiana,” she added.
Officials with Terrebonne Parish also celebrated the completion of the project and what it means for the future of the area.
“Terrebonne Parish is delighted with the benefits the completion of this project brings to the parish,” said Parish President Gordon Dove.
“Over its 20-year life, this project creates or nourishes more than half a square mile of intermediate marsh in a critical area of the parish. The more than 11,000 linear feet of ridge restoration along Bayou Decade’s northern edge adds a great layer of protection to the project,” he added. Dove also thanked NOAA-Fisheries for proposing the project initially and CPRA for successfully managing it. “These two agencies have been great partners with Terrebonne Parish in its coastal restoration efforts,” he concluded.
Approximately 3400 linear feet of concrete mats were also installed along Lake De Cade to help protect the newly created marsh from wave erosion.
Photo courtesy of CPRA.