600-Acre Marsh Restoration Complete in Cameron Parish

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Posted February 12, 2019

About 600 acres of salt marsh were restored in the Oyster Bayou area of Cameron Parish. (Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority)

The state has rebuilt 600 acres of salt marsh along the rapidly eroding coast in southwest Louisiana.

The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority spent about $31 million restoring the Oyster Bayou marsh near the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Cameron Parish. Completed this month, the project included 2.5 miles of earthen terrace that will help protect the coastline from future erosion.

Saltwater intrusion from the Gulf of Mexico, hurricane damage and other factors had converted the marsh to shallow, open water in recent decades.

The CPRA used sediment dredged from the Gulf to fill in the marsh. The dredge site was about five miles south of Cameron Parish.

Aerial photos show the Oyster Bayou area before (top) and after restoration.

Aerial photos show the Oyster Bayou area before (top) and after restoration. Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

The rebuilt marsh links to nine miles of restored beach extending from The ship channel’s entrance to Holly Beach. Completed in 2014, the restored beach was designed to protect Oyster Bayou wetlands and Highway 82.

“Any breach of the highway would … convert the marsh north of the road into open water,” CPRA Executive Director Bren Haase said in a statement. “If we’re going to restore the Oyster Bayou marsh, we first needed to design and build a project to protect that investment.”

CPRA is planning another marsh restoration near the community of Cameron. Called the Cameron-Creole Watershed Grand Bayou Marsh Creation, the $27 million project will restore about 530 acres.

Source: nola.com