NOAA 2002-R151
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gordon Helm
10/14/02
NOAA News Releases 2002
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs

NOAA AND LOUISIANA DNR CELEBRATE PECAN ISLAND TERRACE CREATION GROUNDBREAKING

Federal, state and local officials today announced the groundbreaking for the Pecan Island Terrace Creation Project – another milestone in the 12-year-old campaign to restore and protect coastal Louisiana.

Led by officials from NOAA Fisheries and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, the project kickoff focused on the proposed Pecan Island project, which was designed to protect a failed agricultural impoundment’s shoreline from erosion and create wetlands. The Pecan Island project was funded for $2.24 million under the Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA), also known as the Breaux Act.

The event, held on Avery Island, La., drew local citizens and government officials.

“The restoration project at Pecan Island, provided for under the Breaux Act, is a great example of a successful federal/state partnership,” said Captain Gary Petrae, acting deputy regional administrator for NOAA Fisheries’ Southeast Regional Office. “Coastal restoration efforts in Louisiana have received much attention this past year, and we must continue to build upon partnerships and projects like Pecan Island, in order to protect our valuable coastline.”

The groundbreaking announcement for Pecan Island was part of a larger Breaux Act celebration for projects in Vermilion and Iberia Parishes. DNR Assistant Secretary Randy Hanchey addressed ceremony participants on the importance of following the region to region approach for coastal restoration in the state.

The Pecan Island project will be constructed by Wilco Marsh Buggies, Inc. of Marrero, La., and is scheduled to begin in early December, 2002. The project features a series of marsh terraces designed to slow shoreline erosion. The 107 acres of earthen terraces will encourage marsh development through the accumulation of organic material (peat). The project also was designed to protect existing wetlands by reducing wave action in the shallow waters of this inland water body. Over the life of the project, officials estimate that an additional 300 acres of wetlands will be created.

The project is located south of highway 82 within the community of Pecan Island in southern Vermilion Parish. The total project area is 3,350 acres, including 359 acres of marsh and 3,191 acres of water.

“The goal of Pecan Island 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 DNR Assistant Secretary Randy Hanchey

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 (NOAA). 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.noaa.gov/habitat/restoration/.

For more information on Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources, visit:

http://www.dnr.state.la.us.