NOAA and partners are constructing almost 1,200 acres of marsh in Louisiana’s Upper Barataria Basin. This project, which could use up to $181 million for engineering and design, construction, and monitoring, is NOAA's largest habitat restoration effort to date. It will build upon our previous efforts to restore wetland habitats in Louisiana. The project, which is expected to be complete by 2023, will be instrumental in supporting NOAA’s goals and priorities for coastal resilience.
A project that’s so massive and complex can be hard to understand. We want to help describe the project and show how it’s being accomplished. So over the next few months, we’ll share updates on the team’s progress and more information about the Upper Barataria Marsh Creation Project. In addition to updates at that web page, we’ll share highlights via Twitter (NOAA Habitat and NOAA Fisheries), Instagram (NOAA Fisheries), and Facebook (NOAA Fisheries), so be sure to follow us!
We’ll share progress, photographs, videos, and renderings that illustrate the construction process. We’ll also show the impact this project will have on not only our natural landscape but also our human environment as well.
To create the new habitat, workers will fill target areas in the Barataria Basin with more than 8 million cubic yards of sediment. The sediment is being dredged from the Mississippi River and pumped through 13 miles of 30-inch pipe. That’s almost enough sediment to fill two Superdome stadiums!
Once there, the sediment will be held in place by human-made dikes. The sediment is contained to keep the slurry (the sediment and water) within the marsh creation area and to allow the area to drain and dry out. This allows grasses and other vegetation to grow. This work is expected to provide more than 140 construction-related jobs, further enhancing economic resilience in the region.
The new, healthy coastal wetland habitat will support diverse species of fish and wildlife and help reduce impacts of future storms on other coastal resources and communities. Recreational and economic benefits will include ecotourism, boating, hunting, trapping, birdwatching, and fishing.
The Upper Barataria Marsh Creation project was approved by the Deepwater Horizon Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group to restore habitats impacted by the 2010 oil spill. It is underway through NOAA’s strong partnership with other agencies, including the Louisiana Coastal Protection Authority, the agency that is leading Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan.
Information about other projects in Louisiana can be found through the interactive Gulf Spill Restoration Projects map.