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Work begins on Louisiana’s largest-ever coastal project to build marsh and ridge

An aerial view of the Spanish Pass Project area, where dredging operations will create seven...
An aerial view of the Spanish Pass Project area, where dredging operations will create seven miles of marsh and ridge.(John Snell)
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 10:21 PM CST
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VENICE-BOOTHVILLE, LA (WVUE) - Mostly clear water pours from a pipe seconds after contractors start pumping from a dredge in the Mississippi River. It turns black as sand reaches the end of the pipe 25 minutes later, the period of time it takes to travel from the river bottom.

“This pipe is about five miles long right now,” said Brad Manager, the project manager for the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. “When we’re done with the project, there will be 11 miles of pipe.”

The $100 million Spanish Pass Marsh and Ridge creation is the latest project to be funded through fines and settlements from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

“This project is building habitat to prevent the severe loss and damage to habitat, a lot of it in this very basin, the Barataria Basin,” Miller said.

The pot of money from the Natural Resources Damage Assessment is required, by law, to be spent on restoring nature.

“Right here in the Barataria Basin are some of the highest rates of land loss,” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline. “It was also ground zero for the BP oil spill.”

Contractors with Weeks Marine are expected to continue pumping from the dredge until next fall.

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