Port Fourchon Receives International Environmental Award
(GALLIANO, LA, JULY 28, 2006) – The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), the organization representing public ports throughout the Western Hemisphere, has selected Port Fourchon to receive an Environmental Improvement award in the category of Environmental Enhancement for the Port’s Maritime Forest Ridge and Marsh Restoration project.
The Maritime Forest Ridge project seeks to restore a historic maritime forest ridge that had eroded and subsided below sea level since the 1950s. The project includes depositing over 3 million cubic yards of dredge material, shaping, and vegetating the ridge with woody plant species that will provide excellent habitat for migratory birds. The project will eventually stretch for 12,000 feet and include boardwalks, trails, bird identification stations, and an interpretive center along Louisiana Highway 1.
Port Director, Ted Falgout said, “The Port Commission is excited about the receiving this prestigious award. Once fully constructed, the Maritime Forest Ridge will provide much-needed habitat as well as serve as a storm buffer between the Gulf of Mexico and the interior marshes of the Barataria – Terrebonne Estuaries while creating a respite for migratory birds.”
The port has been the cornerstone for much of this project, and has put together a diversified team of stakeholders, participating both financially and physically including Bataraia Terrebonne National Estuary Program, Gulf of Mexico Program, Gulf of Mexico Foundation, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Shell, and the US Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Plant Material Center. The entire project to date has cost over $2 million. The port has been financially responsible for almost 90% of that cost.
Falgout adds, “This project was conceived in 2000 when the Port was planning its northern expansion. When the birding community expressed concern about loss of habitat as a result of our proposed expansion, we seized the opportunity to create a win-win situation. That is, creating world-class birding habitat while providing additional hurricane protection for our port and community.”
Falgout will receive the award on behalf of the Commission at AAPA’s 2006 Annual Convention which will be held in September in New Orleans.