Louisiana wetlands restoration will reduce shoreline erosion
Ducks Unlimited (DU) received a $2 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant to enhance 1,000 acres of coastal wetlands in Terrebonne Parish, La.
The East Raccourci Bay project includes construction of 53,000 linear feet of marsh terraces to reduce shoreline erosion and encourage growth of submerged aquatic vegetation, creating habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, fish and other wildlife.
“These grants are a direct result of Congress, the conservation community, farmers, ranchers and private landowners coming together to make a difference in creating and protecting important habitat,” U.S. Congressman Garret Graves said. “This specific announcement is a direct result of the great work done by our partners at Ducks Unlimited and others in our communities. For those who love to spend early mornings in a duck blind, fishing or birdwatching – these investments are for you. These funds will help restore critical land areas, stimulate local economies and jobs, restore wildlife habitat and conserve Sportsman’s Paradise for the next generation.”
This work will help offset the dramatic coastal wetland loss in the Terrebonne Basin. Historically considered a freshwater marsh, these areas have experienced saltwater intrusion and storm damage resulting in brackish marsh and open water.
“Working with conservation groups like Ducks Unlimited, who share our commitment for the restoration and protection of Louisiana’s coastal marshes, is important to us,” said Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson. “Terracing projects such as this are an important part of our conservation efforts in the Terrebonne Basin.”
East Raccourci Bay, owned by project partner ConocoPhillips, is part of DU’s Gulf Coast Initiative (GCI), which focuses on the restoration and enhancement of public lands with state and federal partners, as well as the protection of quality waterfowl habitat on private lands.
“Projects such as these are truly a partnership effort,” said DU Chief Conservation Officer Karen Waldrop. “Thanks to the continued support from both public and private partners, DU’s critical conservation work never stops. The Gulf Coast of Louisiana is a critical piece to the conservation puzzle and we are honored to be part of such a team effort to improve habitat for waterfowl, wildlife and the surrounding communities.”
In addition to industry and governmental support, GCI projects in Louisiana also receive support from private foundations, including the recent $1.1 million donation from the James M. Cox Foundation.
“DU’s collaborative, science-based approach in project implementation provides benefits for people, industries and multiple fisheries and wildlife resources,” said John Harrington, director of ConocoPhillips Coastal Wetlands.
Project partners for work on East Raccourci Bay Marsh include Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and the Lafourche Parish Government.
About Ducks Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world‘s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow, and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.