LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A decision was made earlier this month to address the issue of Louisiana's disappearing coast.
Darryl Clark, Biologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services says, "The amount of land Louisiana has lost is larger than the state of Delaware".
Louisiana's disappearing coast has been a topic of discussion for years.
Clark reports, "We've lost over 25 percent of our coast. 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 the selection is always tough. Luckily for Cameron Parish, two big projects were approved in early February.
The first— the Sabine Marsh Creation Cycles 6 & 7. Clark says its unique in that it uses dredged material that the Corps of Engineers dredges from the Calcasieu Ship Channel. Clark also says that dredged material will go towards restoring the marsh on the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge. 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. Ron Boustany from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service explains, "What we're doing is bringing in the marsh in tiny particles and dispersing it over 22,000 acres".
The 25.6-million-dollar project will go towards restoring areas east of the Calcasieu Lake that was 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.
Clark adds, "Without the marshes, the wetlands we would not have the fisheries and the wildlife resources and the coastal protection that we have".