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Shoreline Protection at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

Protecting and restoring submerged aquatic vegetation

  • 373

    Acres of Protected SAV Habitat

  • 11

    Miles of Shoreline

  • $56M

    Construction Value

  • New Orleans, Louisiana

    New Orleans, Louisiana

A functioning, healthy ecosystem protects the people who live around it

After the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, fresh water was released into Lake Cataouatche in Jean Lafitte National Historical Park, and that resulted in the loss of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). Our job? To work with stakeholders to find a cost-effective, resilient, sustainable solution that would help recover the SAV.

The project will help buffer against the effects of climate change and storm events—plus, a healthy SAV supports seafood harvests, an important part of the New Orleans culture and economy. We provided planning, environmental permitting, hydrodynamic modeling, and design services that would create favorable conditions for the re-establishment of at least 50 acres (20 hectares) of SAV. We would also help protect the SAV from wave energy by engineering and designing an 11-mile (17.7-kilometre) breakwater structure along the shoreline.

Our scope has included geotechnical, environmental, and cultural resource investigations, numerous surveys, and computational modeling. As part of a large coastal wetland system, this area provides a habitat for diverse and abundant plants and animals, and with the recovery of this SAV, the ecosystem will be more resilient, improving the health of the park and delta lands. With these services, and after community maturation, 42 tons of carbon is estimated to be sequestered each year.

At a Glance

  • Department of the Interior (DOI)
  • National Park Service (NPS)
Meet Our Team

Ryan Waldron, Coastal Engineer

I feel tremendous pride when I work on a project that restores or protects our fragile and beautiful landscape.

Ryan Waldron

Coastal Engineer

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