Port Commission Recognized as Coastal Steward

20140512_CRCL_Coastal_Steward_Award_web(GALLIANO, LA) – The Greater Lafourche Port Commission (GLPC) was recognized for its distinguished record as a dedicated steward of Louisiana’s coastal lands by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL). GLPC was presented with a Coastal Stewardship award at the 2014 CRCL Awards Banquet on Friday, May 9, 2014.

“We were pleased to have been nominated by Restore or Retreat and the South Central Industrial Association and are honored to be recognized by CRCL as coastal stewards,” said GLPC’s Executive Director Chett Chiasson.

Over the past several years GLPC has worked closely with federal, state, and local partners to implement, enhance, or champion for numerous coastal and environmental restoration projects in and around Port Fourchon. In some instances, restoration techniques were utilized for the first time on projects done by GLPC, making Port Fourchon an important proving ground for coastal science and restoration techniques.

The Maritime Forest Ridge and Marsh Restoration Project is a prime example of how the pioneering of scientific and technical advances in coastal restoration science has been fostered by GLPC. The Maritime Forest Ridge project represented the first attempt at restoring elevated chenier forested ridge habitat from open water. With the help of many coastal and environmental partners coupled with generous donations from industry partners like Shell Oil, the Port Commission’s ridge has provided vital lessons in plant propagation for restoring these unique habitats, construction techniques, and planting and soil chemistry methodologies.

Another example of the GLPC’s commitment to restoration is the Fourchon Beach Repair Project. This ongoing project utilizes geotubes, or large fabric tubes that can be filled with sand, to create a stable base for pumped sands to restore the sand dunes lost to hurricanes and coastal erosion. These restored dunes provide essential birding habitat and critical storm surge protection for Fourchon Beach and Port Fourchon behind it. The beach project also highlights the Port Commission’s success in obtaining public-private partnership investment, with over $5 million in funding from multiple sources including FEMA, Shell Oil Company, and GLPC itself as well as cooperation with landowners Edward Wisner Trust and Caillouet Land.

“The Greater Lafourche Port Commission’s longstanding commitment to coastal restoration not only helps our natural environment but also demonstrates to business and industry the idea that restoration is integral to living, working, and investing in coastal Louisiana,” said Simone Maloz, Executive Director of Restore or Retreat.

In addition to the restoration projects undertaken by GLPC, it has also set aside large tracts of land at Port Fourchon surrounding the Maritime Forest Ridge and mitigation areas as a wildlife sanctuary, prohibiting hunting and fishing in these pristine areas in order to preserve them for future generations.

“We are very grateful that our port commissioners, our community, and our tenants understand the value of the fragile wetlands surrounding the port. They have supported us in going above and beyond our obligations for environmental mitigation on many occasions to help Port Fourchon grow sustainably in a coastal environment,” said Chiasson.

The Greater Lafourche Port Commission, a political subdivision of the state of Louisiana, facilitates the economic growth of the communities in which it operates by maximizing the flow of trade and commerce. We do this to grow our economy and preserve our environment and heritage. The Port Commission exercises jurisdiction over the Tenth Ward of Lafourche Parish, south of the Intracoastal Waterway, including Port Fourchon and South Lafourche Leonard Miller, Jr. Airport.