Entergy, Shell and partners to join with local students to create new marsh in Vermilion Bay

Coastal Conservation Association’s National Habitat Program, Building Conservation Trust, in partnership with Entergy, Shell, Martin Ecosystems and local high school students from AMIkids and middle school students from Catholic High of New Iberia will join together on Friday, May 18th to help rebuild the coastline in Vermilion Bay near Cypremort Point.

Starting on Friday at 9:00 a.m., volunteers from Entergy and Shell will join local CCA chapter volunteers and more than 100 local students at Cypremort Point State Park to build approximately 4,000 square feet of new wetland island habitat and place them in the water just south of Quintana Canal.  Each 8 x 15 foot “island” will hold 300 plants and will be placed end-to-end and anchored to the water bottom. Roughly 8,000 native plants, including mangrove, seashore paspalum and smooth cord grass, will be installed.  The “floating islands” technology allows these plants to take root in the water bottom while providing protection to the existing shorline from the natural elements.  

This is the fourth project of this type spearheaded by CCA Louisiana in recent years.  The first was Phase I of the Isle deJean Charles Project in Point Aux Chene, completed in 2011.  Phase II of the Isle deJean Charles project followed in 2013.  In 2015, CCA and partners joined forces to build more than 1000 linear feet of islands off Highway 1 near Grand Isle.  In all, nearly 20,000 square feet of new marsh has been created by CCA to create habitat and fortify marshland that had been devastated by years of erosion and storms.  These projects are the first to use this technology, developed by Martin EcoSystems, in an open-water marine environment application.  In some cases, the “floating island marsh” has even outperformed the surrounding natural marsh.

Funding for the Cypremort Point project is provided by CCA’s Building Conservation Trust, Entergy, Shell and Martin Ecosystems along with donations by individual CCA members. Youth volunteers are coordinated by the CCA Louisiana Youth Outreach program in partnership with the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation. The total project cost is expected to be approximately $180,000.

In all, this will be the 26th habitat project completed in recent years by CCA Louisiana and their partners, including 22 artificial reefs and 4 marsh planting projects, at a total cost of about $9 million.

The project will occur come rain or shine on Friday, May 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 pm. Lunch will be provided to all volunteers.  All media is invited to attend the build on Friday, May 18th, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

For information on volunteering for the project, please contact CCA Louisiana at 225-952-9200.