Two Cameron Parish coastal projects approved for funding

Two Cameron Parish coastal projects approved for funding

CAMERON PARISH, LA (KPLC) - It's been an issue for years--Louisiana's coast has been slowly disappearing.

With so many projects, and little money flowing, it's hard to decide just which projects to fund.

But a decision was made earlier this month to fund not one but two coastal projects in Cameron Parish.

"The amount of land Louisiana has lost is larger than the state of Delaware," said Darryl Clark, biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. 
 
Louisiana's disappearing coast has been a topic of discussion for years. 
 
 "We've lost over 25 percent of our coast," said Clark. "That's over 1.2 million acres since 1932." 
 
Coastal projects costing millions of dollars have been proposed to help restore Louisiana's coast, but selection is always tough. Luckily for Cameron Parish, two big projects were approved in early February. 
 
The first was the Sabine Marsh Creation Cycles 6 & 7.
 
 "It's unique in that it uses dredged materials that the Corps of Engineers dredges from the Calcasieu Ship Channel," said Clark.  
 
Clark says that dredged material will go towards restoring the marsh on the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge. Clark says the project in total will cost $28 million and is expected to restore over 900 acres of land on the refuge, and for property southwest of Hackberry. 
 
The second project is the Cameron Creole Freshwater CU2.
 
 "What we're doing is bringing in the marsh in tiny, tiny particles and dispersing it over 22,000 acres," said Ron Boustany with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. 
 
The $25.6 million project will go towards restoring areas east of the Calcasieu Lake that were not only affected by Hurricanes Rita, Ike and Harvey, but also saltwater intrusion and freshwater retention due to hydrologic changes.
 
But by protecting Cameron Parish, both men say it will help protect Lake Charles and other areas in Southwest Louisiana.
 
"Without the marshes, the wetlands we would not have the fisheries and the wildlife resources, and the coastal protection that we have," said Clark.

Clark says the Sabine Marsh Creation Cycles project will take a few years to complete because they have to wait for opportunities for the Calcasieu Ship Channel to be dredged and still design the project.

The Cameron Creole Freshwater CU2 project is expected to begin construction in October and take about two years to complete.

For more information on these projects and other coastal projects within Louisiana click HERE.

Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.