Recognizing that Louisiana’s coastal wetland loss impacts everyone, Ducks Unlimited and ConocoPhillips have teamed with the South Lafourche Levee District, Energy Transfer, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, and the North American Wetlands Conservation Council to restore more than 1,200 acres of coastal marsh in southeast Louisiana.
“It is good to see other industry partners adding to DU’s coastal restoration efforts,” ConocoPhillips retired Director of Coastal Wetlands Phil Precht said. “Coastal wetlands protect the infrastructure we all depend on, and that shows in the way this project has support from conservation, energy and community partners.”
Ducks Unlimited constructed the marsh terracing project on ConocoPhillips’ property adjacent to the South Lafourche Levee District’s protection levee. More than 29,700 linear feet of earthen terraces were installed to create suitable conditions for desirable plant communities that will enhance foraging, loafing and nesting conditions for a multitude of waterbirds while also improving habitat for fish and helping to protect the levee.
“Energy Transfer has long been committed to environmental stewardship,” said Energy Transfer Partners Chief Operating Officer Matthew Ramsey, a long-time member of Ducks Unlimited. “It plays a key role in everything we do. Coastal restoration and conservation protects our people, our communities, and our infrastructure. We are pleased to have joined forces with Ducks Unlimited and ConocoPhillips on this important restoration effort in Louisiana. We look forward to watching this area thrive for generations to come.”
Gulf Coast marshes provide continentally critical habitat for wintering waterfowl and represent a top habitat conservation priority for Ducks Unlimited.
“Louisiana’s coastal marshes are a focus of DU’s Gulf Coast Initiative,” said DU Director of the Southern Region Jerry Holden Jr. “Though Ducks Unlimited focuses our conservation efforts where waterfowl need us most, these same wetlands provide many functions and values necessary for sustaining wildlife and fishery resources, local communities and ecosystems. From waterfowl habitat to clean water and community protection, wetlands are nature’s greatest assets, and we work with partners across North America to enhance and restore them.”
Leaders from the South Lafourche Levee District recognize the importance of projects like this one for community protection. The Bayou Monnaie project fits into the Levee District concept of Comprehensive Hurricane Protection, creating a marsh apron to protect the toe of the levee from every day wave action while benefiting wildlife and fisheries resources.
“All communities need infrastructure, an economy and a good environment. This project helps us get closer to all three goals,” said SLLD General Manager Windell Curole. “What makes this project better is that all of our partners understand those goals and how to make them work together for our community.”
The construction work was initiated in January 2018 and completed in August 2018. The total project cost was approximately 1.2 million dollars.