Contact: Michael Plummer
BOEM and the State of Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) have signed two agreements to aide in the restoration of Louisiana’s Gulf coast. With a combined volume of approximately 10 million cubic yards of sand from federal waters, the project will restore the beach, dune, and marsh habitat along Trinity-East Island, Timbalier Island, and West Belle Barrier Headland.
“In addition to facilitating recovery of Gulf wildlife from the oil spill, this project will also make great strides to supplement the deficit in the coastal sand budget for this portion of the Louisiana coast,” said BOEM Gulf of Mexico Regional Director Mike Celata. “This project will directly restore the function of the Terrebonne Basin Barrier Islands and West Belle Barrier Headland, increasing their resiliency against damage from future storms.”
Nearly seven miles of shoreline and 1,400 acres of beach, dune, supratidal, and marsh habitats will be restored using sand from the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) on Trinity-East Island, Timbalier Island, and West Belle Barrier Headland. In addition, the project will create a 68-acre feeder beach for West Belle Barrier Headland. The restoration effort will provide and improve habitats for marine and estuarine fisheries resources and their forage species, sea turtle nesting as well as a wide variety of avian communities including shorebirds, wading birds, colonial nesting birds, and migratory songbirds.
“BOEM has been a great partner in supplying CPRA with material to restore and protect Louisiana’s coastal perimeter,” said CPRA Executive Director Bren Haase. “Using sediment mined from federal waters like BOEM’s Ship Shoal—along with other sources—CPRA has restored and nourished more than 60 miles of barrier islands, berms and shorelines using approximately 57 million cubic yards of dredged material. BOEM’s contribution to our efforts has been invaluable.”
The overall project is one of several that the State of Louisiana’s CPRA is developing to address the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and work toward the long-term recovery of the coast. This restoration effort is funded through the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, which is administered through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Today, the erosion of the Nation’s shoreline is a serious issue that affects coastal communities, estuarine ecosystems, energy production, defense, and public infrastructure as well as tourism. BOEM supports the restoration and protection of our coasts to provide long-term resilience to these coastal communities and to support the local, state, and national economies. BOEM coordinates, and enters agreements, with local and state governments or federal agencies to use OCS sediment resources for these projects.
Since 1995 and including this project, BOEM has issued 58 leases to convey over 162 million cubic yards of OCS sand for projects to restore approximately 346 miles of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Approximately 63 million cubic yards of OCS sand have been leased to restore Louisiana’s coast.
For more information about BOEM’s Marine Minerals Program, visit the website, https://www.boem.gov/Marine-Minerals-Program/. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media channels.