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.
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