Corps workshop seeks input on Bonnet Carré Spillway Master Plan

Informational workshop slated for June 11 at Destrehan High School

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, is hosting an informational workshop on Wednesday, June 11 at Destrehan High School, 1 Wildcat Ln., in Destrehan to collect input on current and potential recreational uses and management of natural resources found in the Bonnet Carré Spillway.

“While the primary purpose of the Bonnet Carré is flood control, hundreds of thousands of people recreate in the spillway each year,” said Chris Brantley, project manager of the Bonnet Carré Spillway. “We’re looking forward to constructive feedback on future plans for the project.”

The workshop begins at 6 p.m. with a brief presentation on the purpose of the spillway and current and potential adjustments to the Master Plan. The presentation will be repeated at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

An open house with several information stations discussing current and potential uses and regulations for recreational activities such as fishing, hunting, cycling, dog training, horseback-riding and all terrain vehicle use will be staffed by Corps’ personnel and volunteers from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feedback on other uses is welcome.

The Master Plan is the Corps’ official document outlining how the Bonnet Carré Spillway is managed and regulated in the interests of its primary flood-control function, natural resources, recreation and public safety.

The Bonnet Carré Spillway is located 28 miles west of New Orleans. It was completed in 1936 to protect New Orleans and other downstream communities from Mississippi River floods. During times of operation large timber needles from the 1.5-mile long structure are raised allowing water from the Mississippi River to enter the spillway and flow six miles north to Lake Pontchartrain. The diverted water relieves pressure on Mississippi River levees and reduces risk associated with flooding. The spillway has been operated a total of nine times since its completion. It was most recently opened in the spring of 2008.