Two-and-a-half Superdomes worth of sand create Louisiana’s newest land

Governor Edwards dedicates Spanish Pass Marsh Creation near Venice
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 4:44 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Work is wrapping up on one of the largest-ever marsh creation projects near Venice, La. - the Spanish Pass Increment of the Barataria Basin Ridge and Marsh Creation Project.

The $100 million project is building nearly seven miles of marsh and a ridge similar to a beach dune.

Like much of Louisiana’s recent coastal work, funding comes from fines and settlements associated with BP’s 2010 well blowout and spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In this case, the money flows from the Natural Resource Damage Assessment associated with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a pot of money that, by law, must be spent on environmental restoration.


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Since late 2021, contractors have dredged nearly 11 million cubic yards of sediment from the nearby Mississippi River, or roughly two-and-a-half times the volume of the Superdome.

Spanish Pass is a natural historic distributary of the Mississippi River, extending into the lower parts of Barataria Bay. The area has experienced severe land loss in recent decades. The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority sites a number of factors, including subsidence, sea level rise, lack of sediment nourishment, and a series of hurricanes.

At a dedication ceremony, Governor John Bel Edwards told an audience projects such as Spanish Pass bring hurricane protection to communities along the coast.

“I want you all to think about that with all the projections of sea level rise and the increasing severity of storms, we believe that if we pursue this plan, there will be less risk here in 50 years than there is today,” he said.

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