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YEAR 2009 - CRP Project #8004 (Gulf of Mexico)

Project #8004
Big Branch Planting Project Habitat Restoration

St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana

Project name:   Big Branch Planting Project Habitat Restoration  
Project number:   8004  
Project status:   In Progress  
Grant Administrator:   Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)  
Grantee:   St. Tammany Parish Government  
Project location:   Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge  
Grant period:   Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2020  
Grant amount:   $38,625  
Land Ownership:   Public Land Ownership  
Lat/Long:   -89.90911W, 30.254354N  
Types of Habitat:   Intermediate marshland  
Project leader:   Dr. deEtte Smythe, Director of Engineering
Brian Fortson, Environmental Specialist
St. Tammany Parish Government
21490 Koop Drive
Mandeville, LA 70471

Aerial image showing components of the larger project

Species Benefiting From Restoration:
   Smooth Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora)
   Other species as applicable

Acres of Habitat To be Restored:
10 acres

Project Summary:
This project is part of a larger on-the-ground effort. Several state and federal agencies, along with St. Tammany Parish, are currently in the process of restoring vital marshland to the coastline in the Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge in Lacombe. The $21 million project will pump dredged sediments from Lake Pontchartrain into interior ponds behind the shoreline of Big Branch Marsh. The newly created marsh will prevent the formation of breaches into the interior marsh, and maintain the lake-rim function along the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. A 10 acre parcel located on the northeast corner of Big Branch has recently received dredged sediments to create a new mudflat. St. Tammany Parish will plant this site with Smooth cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora. Smooth cordgrass is an effective soil stabilizer commonly used on interior mudflats and dredge-fill sites associated with marsh restoration projects. Trade gallons and bare root plugs will be planted in conjunction on 5 foot centers throughout the 10 acre site. Planting methods will follow the recommendations from the USDA/NRCS Plant Guide for interior plantings.

Community Involvement:
The community will be invited to participate in the marsh grass plantings. Invitations will be extended through public announcements in the local newspaper. The local news source will also be utilized to educate the general public about the restoration project and the importance of wetland restoration. This project will provide volunteers with hands on experience in wetland restoration.

Click on photo to enlarge

Site Visit Video
Site Visit Video

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Project planting location - click to enlarge
Project planting location

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NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

St. Tammany Parish Government

US Fish & Wildlife Service

Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

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