Fritchie Marsh restoration project will temporarily close some refuge sections to public use in 2019 -2020

Aerial Photo of Fritchie Marsh Pre and Post Katrina

A marsh restoration project will cause a temporary closure of portions of Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge near Fritchie Marsh.  Download press release with map at this link.

  • A section of Fritchie Marsh, west of Hwy 90 and north of Salt Bayou. Closure from present - January 31, 2020.

The purpose of the closure is to ensure the safety of the construction crew.

More About the Project

During Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, marshes on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain suffered extensive damage from storm surge. The storm inundated barrier marshes with salt water and created avenues for erosion. Since then, U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff in collaboration with the Louisiana Coastal Wetlands Conservation and Restoration Task Force identified areas on the Northshore that are key to protecting coastal communities from storms.

These key wetlands buffer coastal communities from storm surge and create habitat for the wildlife and fish species that make Louisiana a sportsman’s paradise. Protection and restoration of marshes within Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge and lands adjacent to Bayou Bonfouca and Salt Bayou are a win - win for both people and wildlife.

Using sediment pumped from Lake Pontchartrain, the Zydeco Ridge II Marsh Creation Project will create 152 acres of bottomland hardwood forest, and over 156 acres of low salinity brackish marsh in what are now open water ponds. Restoration of this wetland area will improve shoreline stability for residents of St. Tammany Parish, and support waterfowl and estuarine fish habitat for future generations.

For further information about this project, please contact Danny Breaux at 985-882-2030 or via email.