One of America’s most critical biological habitats with a 4-mile lightweight aggregate core breakwater, the first in an open gulf environment.
This project reduces the quantity and severity of waves hitting the shoreline while gaps allow organisms, water and sediment movement between the Gulf and marsh. It offers a ray of light to the state, which loses 18,000 acres of wetlands each year to erosion.
The project’s scope expanded from three to four miles when construction costs proved to be lower than expected and this first-of-its-kind project halts the eroding shoreline, protects crucial habitat and preserves a future for this vital refuge.
The wildlife refuge was created in 1920 with 71,000 acres of marshland to protect unique habitats. The team worked with the public to develop an effective shoreline stabilisation solution and repurposed the early breakwater trials into the final design, reused more than 5,500 tons of armour stone and locally sourced the core aggregate.
Soon after completion, the breakwater withstood Hurricanes Laura and Delta and reduced shoreline erosion.
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GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: Yes
GOAL 13: Climate Action: Yes
GOAL 14: Life Below Water: Yes
GOAL 15: Life on Land: Yes
Engineering companies involved:
Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana