Future Coastal Wetlands Park Continues to Take Shape Daily
(CUT OFF, LA) – After unveiling the Greater Lafourche Port Commission’s comprehensive master plan for a future Coastal Wetlands Park at a press conference held by Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou in March, you may be wondering how that project is coming along.
Well, as we move toward purchasing four pedestal-mounted view finders to be installed at the port’s Slip D Mitigation area (a 100-plus acre site where this Coastal Wetlands Park will sit) thanks to a generous grant award via Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou, several additional things are happening right now.
The guiding vision is to transform the marsh that is located across the street from the Fourchon Operations Center into an immersive recreational and educational area for visitors and those working at the port as well.
Currently, the Port Commission is in the process of securing funding to match with its own dollars to keep advancing the project forward. At this moment, the port’s initial grant submittal for the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program was successful and is slated for a second submittal cycle later this year. Also, the port has applied for dollars through the state’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP). These highly-competitive grant programs are but a few ways to move from the idea phase to the gradual implementation of items ranging from a walking trail to an outdoor pavilion and kayak launch.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled about the possibilities out there,” GLPC Executive Director Chett Chiasson said. “Our team at GLPC and our commissioners understand how important projects like these are for the overall well-being of our community and visitors alike. I applaud everyone that has already and will eventually become involved in seeing our vision for this amazing site through to its completion.”
With established partnerships with agencies like Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou and the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP), the site will continue to undergo changes that benefit everyone.
Different species of birds and fish are already making themselves at home where lush marsh grass continues to flourish despite no plantings having taken place to date.
One of the biggest components of this Coastal Wetlands Park is a meandering tidal creek (see video tour on Facebook and Twitter) that is nearly 60 percent complete, as of July 25, 2019.
This excavated creek is twenty feet wide with spoil banks being built-up on either side in hopes of providing a prime location for future plantings with the help of BTNEP as well as possible boardwalk access points for scenic views of the complete site for those not using it for kayaking purposes. Deeper spots within the creek could possibly serve as small fishing holes, too.
“The site is truly taking shape, and we are hopeful that along with our efforts that other partners, including those in the industry sector, take note and want to become involved because there is certainly room for them to do so. Ultimately, we see this as a golden opportunity to bring nature right up close to people in a very accessible setting that highlights the amazing ecosystem that we are blessed to have in our area of the country,” Chiasson said.
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