New Wetlands Coming to Metairie

Coastal Restoration Projects

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - A coalition of groups came together on the Metairie lakefront to announce nearly 15 million dollars in new coastal protection projects for Louisiana.

A large share of that money will be going toward rebuilding wetlands near Bucktown.

If all goes well, the Metairie lakefront is about to step back in time.

Before levees were built, the lake shoreline was a marshy, nutrient-rich environment, vital to the health of Lake Pontchartrain and marine life.

Now, with the help of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, there's a new 5 million dollar effort to return to what once was.

“That money will be used to develop and construct a living shoreline along the shore for Jefferson Parish,” said Erika Feller with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

A coalition of groups is now coming together on a plan to rebuild up to 70 acres of marsh, along the Metairie lakefront, from Bonnabel to Bucktown.

This project doesn't call for the shipping in a lot of sediment to help build these marshlands, rather it will rely on the rock dikes and natural sediments already in the lake.'

"The rock structures would be put out at a 3 to 4 foot depth, and that's what we're studying, locations, and the land will be built naturally," said Jefferson parish councilmember Jennifer Van Vrancken.

This is just one of three Louisiana projects being funded with the help of the NFWF. Others involve nearly $9 million, which will go toward restoring 4000 acres of cypress forest south of Houma. $1.1 million has been allocated to study new approaches to coastal restoration in Port Fourchon.

As for Jefferson Parish, officials say they will try and leverage the grant money to extend the new wetlands even further, to Causeway.

And they say the goal will be to maximize the grant money as far as possible, to protect the shore, and provide a new marine life estuary.

For the next 15 years, the National Fish and Wildlife foundation will oversee the spending of $1.2 billion b-p dollars, earmarked to rebuild the coast, after the 2010 oil spill.

Copyright 2019 WVUE. All rights reserved.