Land Ho! Dredging projects turn Louisiana bays to instant land

Land Ho! Dredging projects turn Louisiana bays to instant land

(WVUE) - A few miles from the channel, the Mississippi river pours out of a pipe.

A dredge operating in the river sucks sand and mud from the river bottom, which is pumped into the Bayou Dupont Sediment Delivery area south of Belle Chasse.

The latest project, one of several since 2010, is designed to build 138 acres of marsh and 9,679 feet of terrace.

Overall, the state and federal partners have built 1,186 acres of land at a cost of nearly $165 million.

"This is what we are basing our arguments on for flood insurance, for knocking down storm surge, for being able to protect our levees," said Benny Rousselle, a Plaquemines Parish councilman.

The first project, completed in 2010, is now covered in vegetation.

"It's been very contiguous as we keep building and building and building," said State Rep. Chris Leopold, R-Belle Chasse.

The state is anxious to get out the word since many people never encounter coastal projects and are unaware of the work.

"This is extremely important so that our citizens can have a confidence level that we're really doing something," said Johnny Bradberry, chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

The program has been paid for primary through the federal Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA), a joint state-federal task force.

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