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The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund awards for two coastal projects valued at $12,886,000. Terrebonne Parish was awarded $5,455,700 for the Terrebonne Living Shoreline Installation on Lake Chien. Ducks Unlimited was awarded $4,952,800 for the Dularge Marsh Enhancement and Community Resilience restoration project. The projects, located on Apache Louisiana Minerals and Harry Bourg Corporation land, are intended to protect the coastline, communities, and infrastructure from coastal erosion and land loss using nature-based solutions. NFWF funding partners include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Bezos Earth Fund.
Parish President Gordon Dove expressed that “these projects are part of the path to resilience and show the progress we can make with public/private partnerships. Here you have landowners, corporate partners, nonprofits, and state institutions working together for a solution.” The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority provided funding for the engineering for the Living Shoreline project for the Lake Chien and Lake Tambour and continue to support the project. With the NFWF funds, the Parish will install a living shoreline of oyster bed habitat along 1.85 miles of the shoreline of Lake Chien to create 5 acres of land and preserve 20 – 50 linear acres of marshland that protects pipelines, levees, and habitat to important fisheries and to combat subsidence in these valuable estuaries. This installation designed by T. Baker Smith will be the largest installation of a living shoreline in Terrebonne Parish supplementing terrace and levee projects on the east side of the Parish.
“Project work near Dularge Marsh will help increase social resiliency and improve habitat conditions for wildlife and fish species,” said Scott Graham, DU Regional Biologist. “The habitat work will also help control erosion and improve water quality.” Key stakeholders in this project include Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government, Apache Louisiana Minerals LLC, Dularge Hunting Club, Harry Bourg Corporation, James M. Cox Foundation, Energy Transfer, Terrebonne Parish Levee & Conservation District, NAWCA, and CPRA. These entities are partners on this project and are contributing funding and in-kind match to accomplish the work.
Tim Allen, General Manager of Apache Louisiana Minerals LLC, also expressed gratitude; “At Apache, we have a long history of implementing restoration projects on our property. We strive to be good stewards of the land we are entrusted with and welcome the opportunity to partner with others to increase the scale and effect of our coastal restoration efforts. We are really excited to partner with Terrebonne Parish and Ducks Unlimited on these two projects which will create meaningful ecosystem benefits as well as provide the coastal communities in lower Terrebonne with additional resilience from storms.”
The Parish and partners look forward to this continued partnership with NFWF and will continue to seek funding for other coastal and near shore projects in the future.