NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Fishermen rejoice over the next step in the revitalization of the West End fishing pier.
Today, crews began construction on an artificial reef. Workers dropped 2200 tons of limestone and crushed concrete in the area to make of the structure.
The project is just the beginning of a larger Orleans Parish plan to rebuild the pier and refurbish the boat launch, which Katrina wiped out over 10 years ago.
David Cression, Executive Director of the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana says, "It's an incredibly viable, vibrant part of town. there's lots of activity that happens out here. You've got Bucktown, within a short walk of here, you've got the lakefront right there you've got the entire West End area, full of restaurants, camps, and boats marinas, etc."
Organizers say once the reef is installed it will serve as a prime habitat to some of Lake Pontchartrain's native fish-anglers will be able to easily drop lines from the pier to reel in redfish, speckled trout, and black drum.
"It's also going provide additional protection- as those waves come in and as we have storm surge. anything we can do to create barriers doesn't do anything but help that," says Cedric Grant, Executive director, Orleans Parish sewerage.
Leaders hope that the reef and the pier will be the first step toward attracting businesses to West End.
Work on the boat launch should be complete by the end of this year, then work on the pier begins. That's expected to be done by the end of 20-17.