This week, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced an $18 million partnership between the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the Cameron Parish Police Jury to add three additional miles of unique rock breakwaters to the shoreline that protects the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge.
The structure will utilize large bags of lightweight aggregate to support the heavy rocks on the surface. The method has already helped protect four miles along the refuge.
CPRA Board Chairman Chip Kline aid the approach keeps the rocks from sinking and provides long-term sustainability for the shoreline.
“We tested several methods of shoreline protection in areas like Rockefeller,” Kline said. “Through careful analysis and experimentation, we’ve created this new method. The announcement today is not only about our past success, but it’s also about building upon that success.”
Edwards said the state had a big challenge to meet and found a way to move forward.
“Our federal, state and local partners took a big problem — coastal erosion and difficult soil conditions — and came up with an innovative solution through good science and engineering," Edwards said.
Laurie Cormier, Chenier Plain Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority board member, said installing rocks between the shoreline and the Gulf of Mexico has already proven beneficial.
“The rocks that were pulled out sustained themselves from (hurricanes) Rita, Ike and Gustav,” she said. “We know that they’re resilient, and it’s creating land behind it for the future.”
For the announced three-mile extension, CPRA will fund $11.7 million with Cameron Parish pledging $6.3 million. Part of the project is funded through the CPRA Parish Matching Opportunities Program which matches State RESTORE dollars with Parish RESTORE dollars, bringing an additional $2 million from Cameron Parish and approximately $6.7 million from CPRA.
This partnership to extend shoreline protection in Cameron Parish is exciting and much-needed. We must continue to fight to slow down and reverse coastal erosion in Louisiana.