Long Point Bayou Marsh Restoration Underway to Compensate for Calcasieu Estuary oil spill
SEPTEMBER 25, 2023 — OR&R’s Dan Hahn joined NOAA Restoration Center staff, along with Louisiana State Trustees on a September 14th site visit to the Long Point Bayou marsh creation project. The site visit was to assess the progress made on restoration that targets 392 acres of marsh creation as part of the actions to compensate the public for the lost natural resources resulting from the 2006 CITGO Slop oil spill into the Calcasieu River.
The team visited the site via airboats where they witnessed the settling mud that would soon become the new marsh platform. The airboats then traveled to the northernmost reach of the first restoration cell so that the group could look at one of the elevation stakes placed to track the height of the sediment fill and make sure that the proper elevation was being met for marsh growth. The next stop was at one of the outflow sites. While the containment dikes do just what they are intended to do, contain the sediment that is being pumped into the restoration site, there is an overabundance of water associated with the slurry and this water needs to flow out of the containment so that the sediment can settle and compact to form a more solid marsh platform. By the time the water reached this location, most of the sediment had settled out and the outflowing water was a clearish green. When the site visit was complete, the team began their return trip back to the dock. At that time, the team could see previous restoration projects — big areas of healthy green marsh and a vision of what the Long Point Bayou restoration area will become.