Gulf Guardian Award Winners 2006
Government Category - 2nd Place
When industrial demand dictated that Port Fourchon’s slips be widened from 500 feet to 700 feet in 2001, port officials put together a plan to use the dredge spoil to rebuild a natural forest ridge that once existed just north of Port Fourchon, which had fallen victim to coastal erosion. The main goal of the project is to restore the historic Maritime Forest Ridge that had eroded and subsided below sea level since the 1950s. Vegetating the ridge with woody plant species has provided an excellent habitat for migratory birds. Thus far, the project has created over 60 acres of salt marsh, and another 60+ acres of maritime forest ridge at an elevation of 8 feet. To date, over 1000 hours and 200 volunteers have worked diligently planting along the ridge. By engaging the people of the estuary on a personal level, Port Fourchon is not only forging new community partnerships and fostering public support and sentiment for coastal restoration, it is putting a face on the efforts to save this landscape by allowing citizen volunteers to work shoulder-to shoulder with the biologists, geologists, engineers and scientist who are working on the immense problems coastal Louisiana faces.