Ducks Unlimited and Partners Restore Coastal Marsh
LAFAYETTE, La. June 22, 2009 – Nearly 600 acres of coastal marsh in Cameron Parish are being restored through the combined efforts of Ducks Unlimited, NOAA, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.
Ducks Unlimited is constructing approximately 50,000 linear feet of marsh
|Coastal marsh habitat on Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge|
on Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge and Miami Corporation property in Cameron Parish to restore 570 acres of coastal marsh.
“This project was made possible because of the strong group of partners,” DU Manager of Conservation Programs Bob Dew said. “We had a short window of opportunity to make this happen, and everyone pitched in to make it a reality.”
The work on Cameron Prairie NWR is being funded by a $150,000 grant from NOAA. CPRA helped by contributing $2 million towards the Black Lake Terracing project near Hackberry, Louisiana, a portion of which was used as match to secure the NOAA grant. The remaining funds from CPRA will be used as match to secure an additional $1 million of NAWCA funds in the future.
“This project is a wonderful collaboration of private and public groups coming together to implement meaningful wetland restoration in an area still very much recovering from the ravages of past hurricanes. The NOAA Community-based Restoration Program believes in helping groups like Ducks Unlimited be a vehicle for restoration within the local community,” NOAA Restoration Center’s Marine Habitat Resource Specialist Cheryl Brodnax said.
Marsh terraces – long, narrow ridges of soil built in areas of marsh loss – offset impacts of saltwater intrusion, reduce wave action that can cause additional coastal erosion, improve water quality, and spur plant growth. The project restores and protects the natural habitat for the nation’s waterfowl that migrate to Louisiana each winter and will provide over 19 miles of marsh edge that is beneficial to coastal fisheries.
Louisiana’s coastal marshes host up to 10 million of the nation’s wintering waterfowl every year. Unfortunately, despite efforts by conservation organizations and governmental agencies, 25-30 square miles of marsh continue to be lost each year.
“The State of Louisiana is not just aiming to restore wetlands to protect communities and infrastructure, but also to preserve and protect the cultural heritage and wildlife that make our coast so important and unique,” said CPRA Chairman Garret Graves. “A project like this one, in which the state works with a conservation organization like Ducks Unlimited to provide better protection, better habitat for waterfowl, and to preserve the resources that make our state such a tremendous place to hunt and fish, is extremely valuable and a large part of our overall coastal restoration effort.”
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with more than 12 million acres conserved. In Louisiana alone, one million acres of coastal marsh have disappeared in the last half-century, and an additional 500,000 acres are projected to be lost by 2050.