Grand Bayou Marsh Creation project

The $12.4 million Cameron-Creole Watershed Grand Bayou Marsh Creation project is finished, introducing more than 700 acres of marsh along the east shore of Calcasieu Lake in Cameron Parish.

Officials with the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority announced in late November that the work was complete. The authority, along with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife Services, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, each funded a portion of the project.

Chip Kline, CPRA board chairman, said local, state and federal agencies working together has been a crucial part in restoring Louisiana's coastline.

Part of the project was funded by the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act, or CWPPRA, a partnership between the state and federal government.

Additional money from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Mitigation and Beneficial Use programs helped create 60 extra acres of marsh and nourished another 100 acres, said Thomas Harris, department secretary.

Two other projects were completed in Southwest Louisiana this year, worth about $56 million. More than 950 acres of marsh were restored in Oyster Bayou in Cameron Parish, while more than 400 acres of marsh were restored at Cole's Bayou in Vermilion Parish.

Work continues on a $26 million effort to bring in freshwater to more than 22,000 acres of marsh at Calcasieu Lake. The project, funded by CWPPRA, will help control salinity levels in the area.

Bids are expected soon on the Cameron Meadows Marsh Creation and Terracing project. Dredged material will be used to restore 400 acres of marsh and build 12,000 linear feet of earthen terraces on Calcasieu Lake's west side.

Southwest Louisiana will have more than $500 million dedicated toward coastal restoration efforts once all the projects are done, said CPRA Executive Director Bren Haase.

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