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YEAR 2008 - CRP Project #7003 (Gulf of Mexico)

Project #7003
Fourchon Dune & Beach Community Restoration

Port Fourchon, Louisiana

Project name:   Fourchon Dune and Beach Community Restoration  
Project number:   7003  
Project status:   Complete  
Grant Administrator:   Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)  
Grantee:   Nicholls State University  
Project location:   Port Fourchon, Lafourche Parish, Louisiana  
Grant period:   Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2020  
Grant amount:   $44,942  
Land Ownership:   Private: Wisner Foundation  
Lat/Long:   west end: N29°06’30.33”, W 90°10’47.90”
east end: N 29°07’05.79”, W 90°09’50.42”
Types of Habitat:   Beach, dunes, and “back-bay” Spartina and black mangrove marsh habitats  
Project leader:   Allyse Ferrara
Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Nicholls State University
114 Gouaux Hall
Thibodaux, LA 70310

Before - click to enlarge
Wash-over with evident absence of dune ridge
After - click to enlarge
Example of dunes created from barley hay bales in the area

Species Benefiting From Restoration:
   • Blue crab (Callinectes sapidus)
   • Brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus)
   • White shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus)
   • Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulates)
   • Black drum (Pogonias cromis)
   • Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix)
   • Gulf menhaden (Brevoortia patronus)
   • Red drum (Sciaenops ocellata)
   • Speckled trout (Cynoscion nebulosus)
   • Southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma)
   • Striped mullet (Mugil cephalus)
   • Atlantic bottlenosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
   • Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta)
   • Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea)

Acres of Habitat To be Restored:
We will restore a minimum of 456 meters of dunes. Approximately 520 acres immediately adjacent to dune restoration sites will benefit from this project.

Project Summary:
To protect fish and wildlife habitats and important human infrastructure at Port Fourchon we will restore beach dune habitats using two restoration methods in Spring and Fall 2008. We will compare the sustainability of two beach dune restoration methods (sand fencing vs. hay bales) and the effects of season of installation (May vs. November) on the sustainability of the two restoration methods. We will use the results of this project to improve beach dune restoration techniques and to leverage funding for large-scale dune restoration projects. We will also use this opportunity to educate project volunteers about the importance of beach dune habitats.

Project Objectives:
The overall objectives of this project are to restore (fill-in) dune breaches on Fourchon Beach to protect back-bay and interior marsh habitats including Bay Champagne and Port Fourchon and to compare the sustainability of restoration methods and the effects of season of installation. The specific objectives of this project are to:

  • restore and plant sections of a dune breach on Fourchon Beach
  • compare plant survival and sustainability of breach restorations conducted in spring (May) versus fall (November)
  • compare the ease of installment and performance of hay bales versus sand fencing for dune breach restoration
  • educate volunteers about the importance of coastal beach and dune habitats

Community Involvement:
Volunteers will pot plants at the NSU farm and/or will restore and plant dunes at Fourchon Beach. All volunteers will learn about the importance of beach and dune habitats for fish, wildlife, and storm surge protection for interior marshes and human infrastructure such as roads, camps, homes, and industry including Port Fourchon. Each potting volunteer will be taught correct potting techniques. Each volunteer at the dune restoration and planting events will be taught proper planting techniques and proper sand fence and hay bale installation techniques.

Click on photo to enlarge

Barataria map - click to enlarge
Project site location map

Satellite image - click to enlarge
Satellite image of project area

Design graphic - click to enlarge
Restoration design graphic

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NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Nicholls State University (NSU)

Bayou Land Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D;) Council

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Bayou Land RC&D;

NRCS Plant Materials Center in Golden Meadow

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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webmaster: Carrie Robertson