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YEAR 2003 - CRP Project #2006 (Gulf of Mexico)

Project #2006
Maritime Forest Ridge & Marsh Restoration

Thibodaux, Louisiana

Project name: #2006 Maritime Forest Ridge & Marsh Restoration
Project status: Complete
Grant Administrator: Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)
Grantee: Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program
Project location: Thibodaux, Louisiana
Grant period: Jan 1, 2021 - Dec 31, 2020 (extended: August 31, 2021)
Grant amount: $90,000
Land Ownership: restoration site is publicly owned
Lat/Long: 90.19444 29.10556
Types of Habitat: open water, salt marsh, adjacent upland ridge habitats
Project leader: Richard DeMay, Scientific/Technical Coordinator
                        Barataria-Terrebonne NEP
                        PO Box 2663, NSU
                        Thibodaux, LA 70310
                        (800) 259-0869 phone
                        (985) 447-0870 fax

Site visit March 2003 - VIEW SLIDE SHOW

Anticipated Species To Benefit From Restoration:
  • red drum, Sciaenops ocellata
  • spotted sea trout, Brevoortia patronus
  • bay anchovy (Anchoa mitchilli)
  • gulf killifish (Fundulus grandis)
  • spot (Leiostomas xanthurus)
  • Atlantic croaker (Micropogon undulatus)
  • striped mullet (Mugil cephalus)
  • Southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma)
  • brown and white shrimp (Penaeus axtecus and Penaeus setiferus)
  • blue crab (Callinectes sapidus)

Acres of Habitat To Be Restored:
Overall multi-year project will restore 120+ acres of salt marsh and adjacent upland ridge habitats. Phase Two (funded by this grant) will plant 15 acres – half marsh platform and half ridge.

Project Description:

The Greater Lafourche Port Commission and the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program are working collaboratively on the reestablishment of a maritime forest ridge and associated marsh habitats just north of Fourchon, Louisiana. Once constructed, the entire project will include over 2.25 miles of ridge/marsh habitat and will consist of approximately 60+ acres of maritime forest ridge and 60+ acres of marsh and tidal creeks. This project is not being constructed as part of any mitigation requirement imposed on the Greater Lafourche Port Commission or any other entity.

The entire project will be completed over three phases. The first and second phase, under construction now, will include development of the ridge and marsh fringe in the center and western edge of the project area and will support the planting of 30 acres of marsh around 30 acres of ridge. When fully constructed, the coastal ridge will stretch for approximately 12,750 linear feet, creating approximately 60 acres of marsh. Phase One has been completed. Phase Two (funded by this grant) began in 2004 and is currently underway. Phase Three is planned to begin in the next five years.

Phase One of the marsh/ridge project, constructed in fall 2003, measured 3,000 feet long by 400 feet wide. Funding for construction/planting came from the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, the Greater Lafourche Port Commission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Community-Based Restoration Program.

Phase Two of the marsh/ridge project, which the Gulf of Mexico Foundation/NOAA CRP grant #2006 is funding, involves planting an additional 15 acres – half marsh platform and half ridge. Phase Two ridge will be the same size as Phase One ridge: 3,000 feet long by 400 feet wide.

To reestablish this maritime forest ridge and fringe marsh along Bayous Moreau and Cochon, retaining dikes are being constructed and dredge sediments are being pumped into the area. Ultimately six long ridge segments measuring 8 feet tall will be constructed, sloping to a 100-foot-wide marsh fringe on each side. Gaps of 50 feet will be left between these ridge segments to serve as tidal creeks that will enhance habitat for marine species.

Establishing different elevation gradients will create different habitats, allowing various species of plants to grow: woody species at the top of the ridge, low woody shrubs about midway up the ridge, and marsh vegetation at the lowest elevations.

Project Goals: (Phase Two which is funded by this grant):
  • Restore approximately 15 acres of marsh platform and marsh ridge through construction using beneficial use of dredge sediments
  • Plant appropriate herbaceous/woody plants to restore the habitat values that once occurred here. Pre-restoration, much of the area is large shallow open water body.
  • Build retainer levees, pump material, shape ridge and marsh platform, plant appropriate vegetation
  • Protect the area from pounding waves
  • Serve as habitat for fish, shellfish, neo-tropical migratory bird species and small furbearers.
  • Provide for ecotourism opportunities.

Click on photo to enlarge

    March 2003 - 8 photos

    April 2005 - 5 photos

Greater Lafourche Port Commission Sanctuary area and ridge alignment.

Overhead schematic of ridge and marsh platform

Horizontal schematic of ridge and marsh platform

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Gulf of Mexico Foundation

NOAA Community-based Restoration Program

Gulf of Mexico Program

Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program

Louisiana Dept of Natural Resources

Greater Lafourche Port Commission

Americorps on the Bayou

Terrebonne Bird Club

The Louisiana Nature Conservancy

Coastal Roots Program

Orleans Audubon

Natural Resource Conservation Service

Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free - (361) 882-3939 phone - (361) 882-1262 fax
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