FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kate Naughten
DEDICATE LITTLE VERMILION BAY PROJECT
Federal, state and local officials today dedicated the Little Vermilion Bay Sediment Trapping Project another completed milestone in the 10-year-old campaign to restore and protect coastal Louisiana.
Led by officials from NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, the dedication focused on the successful Little Vermilion project, which was designed to protect the bay's shoreline from erosion, trap sediments for marshes and restore existing wetlands. The Little Vermilion project was funded for $900,000 under the Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act, also known as the Breaux Act.
The event, held in the Vermilion Parish Courthouse in Abbeville, La., drew local citizens and government officials, including 7th District Congressman Chris John, who represents the area.
"The restoration project at Little Vermilion Bay, provided for under the Breaux Act, is a great example of a successful federal/state partnership," said Congressman John. "Coastal restoration efforts in Louisiana have received much attention this past year, and we must continue to build upon partnerships and projects like Little Vermilion Bay, in order to protect our valuable coastline."
Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jack Caldwell commended and thanked Vermilion Parish community leaders for their role in the terracing project.
The Little Vermilion project was completed by Berry Brothers Construction, Inc. of Berwick, La., in August 1999. The project features a series of marsh terraces, also called chevrons, designed to slow shoreline erosion and trap sediment. The 40 acres of chevrons have begun to allow marsh development through sediment accretion. The project also was designed to protect existing wetlands by reducing wave action in the shallow waters of the bay. Over the life of the project, officials estimate that 441 acres of wetlands will be created or protected.
The project is located in the northwestern corner of Little Vermilion Bay in southern Vermilion Parish. The total project area is 964 acres, including 67 acres of marsh and 897 acres of water.
"The goal of Little Vermilion and our other restoration projects here is to protect and restore ecologically valuable areas of coastal Louisiana for the benefit of fisheries, marine habitat and other important resources," said Capt. Gary Petrae, acting deputy regional administrator for NOAA Fisheries' Southeast Regional Office. "NOAA is pleased that the Little Vermilion project is showing early signs of success and we plan to apply what we're learning here to future projects."
Breaux Act projects are implemented through agreements between federal project sponsors and the state Dept. of Natural Resources. Projects are selected and managed by the Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act Task Force. The Task Force is a partnership among the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of Commerce's NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Department of the Interior's U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Louisiana Governor's Office.
NOAA Fisheries is an agency of the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The agency conducts scientific research and provides services and products to support fisheries management, fisheries development, trade, and industry assistance, enforcement, and protected species and habitat conservation programs. For more information on NOAA's Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act projects, see http://www.nmfs.gov/habitat/restoration/.
For more information on Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources, visit http://www.dnr.state.la.us.