Caminada Headland beach restoration underway
Project aims to restore 6 miles of beach and dunes on Fourchon Beach
|Photo courtesy of NOAA|
The Caminada Headland has some of the highest rates of shoreline erosion in the nation, measuring more than 100 feet a year in some spots. This photo shows road damage in the area after Hurricane Isaac.
The first loads of sand have arrived for the Caminada Headland beach restoration that will help fortify parts of Lafourche against storm surge, parish officials said Monday.
The long-awaited project aims to restore six miles of beach and dunes on Fourchon Beach from La. 3090 east to Elmer’s Island, according to a recent report in the Houma Daily Courier.
“This is a great day for the parish. This project will go along way to protect Port Fourchon and the 10th Ward of Lafourche Parish. We applaud the state for recognizing the need to restore this critical habitat not only for the wildlife but the people of south Lafourche,” said Archie Chaisson, parish administrator and former coastal zone manager.
The projected $70 million in renovations came in with a low bid of $55.5 million. Chiasson said the extra money is being used for more restoration work on the headland.
The Caminada Headland includes Fourchon Beach from Belle Pass to Caminada Pass near Grand Isle.
The project will use about 5 million cubic yards of material dredged at the Ship Shoal with a hopper barge. That material is being pumped 27 miles to the beach. It will be used to build dunes 6 feet tall and to build 65 new feet of beach in front of those dunes.
The project takes about six months.
The Caminada Headland has some of the highest rates of shoreline erosion in the nation, measuring more than 100 feet a year in some spots.
The continued degradation threatens the remaining wetlands in south Lafourche, nearby Port Fourchon and La. 1 with stronger storm surges, said Windell Curole, director of the South Lafourche Levee District and a member of the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.
“The whole headland protects everything inside the basin,” Curole said in December.
A reinforced headland prevents stronger storm surge from reaching not just the south Lafourche levee system Curole oversees but north Lafourche too, he said.
“The stronger Caminada is, the less energy gets in there,” Curole said. “This is a project we’ve been pushing for for a long time. It’s a very good start to the new year.”
The West Belle Pass Headland project, a Fourchon restoration project that wrapped up this past winter, rebuilt 8,500 feet of beach and dune with 1.7 million cubic yards of dredged sand around West Belle Pass. The $40 million project also involved building nearly 220 acres of marsh and 93 acres of dune.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is also working on a $446 million plan to rebuild the Caminada shoreline south of Port Fourchon and the disappearing Shell Island, east of Grand Isle.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Houma Daily Courier Staff Writer Jacob Batte filed this report.
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