Work starts on effort to restore marsh in Cameron

John Guidroz

A $32 million effort to restore more than 300 acres of marsh in southwestern Cameron Parish began Thursday, according to the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

The Cameron Meadows Marsh Creation and Terracing Project, located northwest of Holly Beach, will reduce the impacts of saltwater surge following Hurricane Rita in 2005 and other storms, along with salt water retention caused by silted-in canals. Marsh will be built using 2.36 million cubic yards of sand dredged from the Gulf of Mexico and will be pumped five miles inland.

Nearly 3 miles of terrace structures will create another 11 acres, helping ease wave erosion and allow sediment deposition for land building, officials said.

The project is funded by the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act. Other partners include the state coastal restoration authority and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as its federal sponsor.

Great Lakes Dredge and Dock is working on the project, which is expected to wrap up by the end of the year.

Chip Kline, CPRA chairman, said in a statement that restoring marsh is key in protecting coastal parishes from hurricanes, including the Category 4 Hurricane Laura that made landfall last August.

Laurie Cormier, CPRA and Chenier Plain Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority board member, said the Cameron Meadows project is one in a line of efforts to defend Southwest Louisiana’s coastline from future storms.

State Sen. Mark Abraham, R-Lake Charles, said the rest of Louisiana and other states need to understand how important wetlands are. State Rep. Ryan Bourriaque, R-Cameron, thanked the state coastal authority for securing restoration projects in Cameron Parish.Cameron Parish after Hurricane Laura.

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