This story was reported for WWNO -- New Orleans Public Radio
Col. Michael Clancy, US Army Corps district commander, and Amos Cormier, President of Plaquemines Parish, sign paperwork related to the Tiger Pass projects. The projects are co-sponored by the Corps, the State of Louisiana, and Plaquemines Parish. (TRAVIS LUX/WWNO)
The Army Corps will use sand and silt from the bottom of the Mississippi River to build new marshes. The restoration project has been delayed for several years, but is set to break ground next month.
The Corps regularly dredges rivers and waterways all over the country to keep them deep enough for boats to get through. Workers use giant machines to suck up sand and silt, and then it’s usually tossed in a pile somewhere.
But with this project, the Corps will use that sand to rebuild marshes. It’s called Tiger Pass One, because it’s the beginning of a two-part project. The Corps will rebuild a natural ridge in the marsh -- way down the river on the west bank, just north of Venice.
The New Orleans District of the US Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for maintaining the navigation channels highlighted in red. (TRAVIS LUX/WWNO)
Darrell Broussard is the project manager. He says the project is consistent with the state’s Coastal Master Plan, and that when complete, will build about 40 acres of land.
“The idea is that we start protecting the marsh areas that’s behind it,” says Broussard. “ Then that area will regenerate itself.”
The $18 million project was originally funded in the 2016 federal budget, but was delayed by land-ownership issues. That’s now been sorted out.
The second half of the project, Tiger Pass 2, could break ground in 2018 -- if the Corps gets the money it needs from the federal government.