Freshwater Enhancements Projects to Benefit Coastal Louisiana Wildlife

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A new multi-bay water-control structure on the Liner's Canal project site in Louisiana's Terrebonne Parish will increase the flow of fresh w

Photo © Rob Sabatini

Two freshwater flow enhancement projects are now under construction in coastal Louisiana to improve habitat for waterfowl. The St. Louis Canal and Liner's Canal projects will increase freshwater inputs into marsh areas that have been impacted by saltwater intrusion. Returning fresh water to this marsh system will increase the production of submerged aquatic vegetation, providing improved habitat for waterfowl, fish, and other wildlife. Additional benefits of this work include enhanced storm protection and better water quality in surrounding areas.

Completed earlier this year, the Liner's Canal project in Terrebonne Parish was a long-awaited component of the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan and was supported by a $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant. Ducks Unlimited built a multi-bay water-control structure to increase the flow of fresh water through the canal and prevent further saltwater intrusion. Project partners included Apache Corporation, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Moore-Odom Wildlife Foundation, and ConocoPhillips.

The St. Louis Canal project will improve approximately 6,000 acres of marsh along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, including portions of the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area that are open to public hunting. The project was funded in part by a grant from the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. Other partners include Apache Corporation, ConocoPhillips, Richmond Trees, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.