Panel looking at Cameron project

Louisiana MarshlandCreative Commons

Creating and nourishing 376 acres of marsh in Cameron Parish is one of 11 proposed projects the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act’s Technical Committee chose to be considered for engineering and design funding later this year.

Local officials are encouraging residents to send the committee letters of support for the Long Point Bayou marsh creation project to improve its chances of being chosen for the funding in December. Sinéad Borchert, CWPPRA community outreach specialist, said the committee usually approves funding “for three to five projects, depending on how much money CWPPRA has.”

Other proposed projects being considered are in Vermilion, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes.

“It’s very competitive at this point,” said Laurie Cormier, assistant planner and coastal zone manager for the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury. 

The committee — made up of representatives from five federal agencies and the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority — chose the projects out of 24 nominees during a meeting April 12.

The Long Point project calls for creating 322 acres and nourishing 54 acres of marsh near Long Point Bayou and just north of the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, according to a project fact sheet. It proposes to use dredged material from the Calcasieu Ship Channel or sediment from upland disposal sites of the Calcasieu River. Estimated construction costs range from $10 million to $15 million.

A CWPPRA fact sheet stated that the project is necessary to combat freshwater marsh being disrupted by sea level rise, along with saltwater intrusion. It stated that Hackberry “has a potentially higher risk for flooding over the next 50 years.”  

Once the projects are approved for engineering and design funding, Borchert said they have to be selected for construction funding. 

During the committee meeting, Cormier spoke on projects that would help the Southwest Louisiana coastline, including the Long Point marsh project.

“The way I see it, anything we can put between us and the Cameron shoreline would benefit us,” she said.