Ducks Unlimited recently received funding for coastal restoration work through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's (NFWF) new National Coastal Resiliency Fund (NCRF). Established in 2018, the fund restores and enhances natural resource infrastructure to reduce the vulnerability of coastal communities to storms, floods and other detrimental natural events. NFWF, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Shell Oil Company and TransRe announced 35 grants in the inaugural round of funding totaling $28.93 million, leveraging $38.29 million in match from grantees, and generating a total conservation impact of more than $67.22 million.

Investments through this national program will advance regionally identified priorities to enhance fish and wildlife habitats and improve the resilience of coastal communities.

The fund focuses on advancing implementation of projects that will have greatest benefit to human community resilience and fish and wildlife. DU's Terrebonne Basin Coastal Wetland Habitat Restoration and Community Resiliency proposal is the first such funding for DU's coastal restoration work, recognizing the tremendous benefits of our waterfowl habitat restoration work for coastal communities and people.

DU received $1,705,000 from NFWF's NCRF. To fulfill the match obligation, we pulled together $1,705,000 in cash provided by DU, ConocoPhillips, Lafourche Parish Government and the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority that will also be put toward the project for a total project budget of $3.41 million for engineering and design, construction and monitoring. Projects will enhance coastal habitat for waterfowl and increase resilience for the communities of Golden Meadow, Isle de Jean Charles and Pointe aux Chenes.

A variety of coastal restoration techniques will be used on three sites in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. Marsh creation and nourishment with dredged material will be done on 115 acres west of Golden Meadow, Louisiana, bordering the South Lafourche Levee District flood protection levee. Marsh terraces will be built to enhance approximately 375 acres of marsh just west of the town of Pointe aux Chenes, bordering the Morganza to the Gulf flood protection levee system. A third project will improve moist soil habitat and freshwater marsh on Pointe aux Chenes WMA. This project will enhance waterfowl and other wildlife habitat on 85 acres, which also border the Morganza to the Gulf flood protection levee system.

Finally, a living shoreline protection feature will be constructed in the footprint of the marsh creation or terrace project to provide erosion control and project longevity. This Biogenic Oyster Shoreline System will benefit oysters and other marine organisms. Construction should begin in early 2019 with completion by June 2020. Project monitoring will be provided by Mississippi State University researchers.

Partners on these projects include DU, ConocoPhillips, Lafourche Parish Government, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Mississippi State University, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, ORA Technologies, NFWF, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Shell Oil Co., and NFWF Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.