Ducks Unlimited&squo;s Phil&squo;s Cut Marsh Enhancement Project is currently under construction in Terrebonne Parish. This project will enhance 2,700 acres of fresh and intermediate marsh in the Terrebonne Basin, where rates of coastal land loss are high. The project includes the installation of a new flap gate water-control structure and construction of earthern terraces along Voss Canal.

The structure will improve delivery of freshwater and sediment from the Atchafalaya River through Bayou Penchant and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The project will nourish estuarine marshes that are starved of sediment, reduce flooding stress to the marsh, and prohibit the intrusion of saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico into the marsh.

DU will also build terraces in an area near Voss Canal where 50 percent of the marsh has eroded away. Marsh loss has resulted in areas of cloudy, open water of little value to migratory birds and other wetland-dependent wildlife. The terraces will decrease wave energy, lessen erosion, create marsh, increase submerged aquatic vegetation productivity, and improve water quality. This project will benefit waterfowl and waterbird species by improving nesting, foraging, and loafing habitat.

We expect to complete construction by the end of May 2020. DU&squo;s partners on this $1.2 million project include the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Tierra Resources, Tierra Foundation, Living Shoreline Solutions, ConocoPhillips, Shell Oil Company and the North American Wetlands Conservation Council.