Ducks Unlimited (DU) recently completed Phase I construction of its Deep Lake Unit Marsh Enhancement Project in Vermilion Parish. Phase I of the project included closing off two breaches into the Deep Lake Unit. The two breaches, located along Freshwater Bayou, were plugged using earthen material and rebuilding the rock breakwater along Freshwater Bayou.
Phase II construction is expected to begin this summer and will include plugging two canals and installing three new water control structures. Overall, the project will enhance 2,900 acres of intermediate and brackish marsh by restoring hydrologic control over the unit and providing management capabilities.
The project will reduce salinity impacts, increase plant diversity, reduce scour and interior marsh erosion, stabilize water levels to promote the growth of submerged aquatic vegetation, and allow for flooding and draining of the marsh when applicable to enhance habitat quality. Improved management capabilities will enhance habitat quality for wintering and resident waterfowl, a variety of waterbirds, and numerous other fish and wildlife species.
Construction of the project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020. DU’s partners on this 1.15 million-dollar project include: North American Wetlands Conservation Council, Vermilion Parish Police Jury, National Audubon Society, Vermilion Corporation, Cargill, Avery Island Inc., and Randy Moertle & Associates.