Marsh restoration project will cause temporary closures of parts of Refuge

Bayou Sauvage 2016 Closures

Marsh restoration project will create nursery habitat for marine life and help to protect New Orleans' shoreline from erosion and flooding.

A marsh restoration project will cause temporary closures of portions of Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge from August 31, 2016, through September 2018. The purpose of this closure is to ensure visitor and contractor safety.

During Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, levees on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain suffered extensive damage from storm surge. In an effort to improve the levee system, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) had to expand the footprint of the levees. In doing so, the USACE altered wetland habitat on the Refuge and because of this, they were required to mitigate for this loss of Refuge habitat.

The Turtle Bayou Marsh Creation Project will use sediment pumped from Lake Pontchartrain, to create over 147 acres of low salinity brackish marsh in what are now open water ponds on the Refuge. Restoration of this wetland area will improve shoreline stability for residents of Orleans Parish, and support waterfowl and estuarine fish habitat for future generations. According to Refuge Manager Shelley Stiaes, “Although this project will temporarily interrupt public use in a small portion of the Refuge, the end product will improve waterfowl and fishing habitat for years to come.”

For further information about this project, contact Shelley Stiaes at 985-882-2026.