The Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District (BLFWD) in partnership with Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) is taking the lead in implementing the Mississippi River Reintroduction to Bayou Lafourche (MRRBL) Project, a large scale effort to increase fresh water in the Bayou to sustain our water supply and coastal environment.
Bayou Lafourche is a critical resource for our region and a lifeline to our coastal communities. The Bayou provides drinking water to 300,000 people in Lafourche, Terrebonne, Assumption, and Ascension Parishes, and its nutrient-rich fresh water replenishes our coastal marshes. Bayou Lafourche also serves as the only potable water source for offshore oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico, which is critical to our state and nation.
MRRBL Phase 2 Dredging Project
Project Cost: $20 million
Funding Sources: The State of Louisiana – Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority (CPRA) through the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP).
Schedule: Phase 2 dredging is on schedule to be completed by December 2016.
Engineer: T. Baker Smith (Dustin Rabalais, PM)
Contractor: Bertucci Contracting Company, LLC
The MRRBL Project has an overall goal to increase capacity to 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) of fresh water from the Mississippi River into Bayou Lafourche.
In 2011, the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District completed a dredging project that increased water flow for nearly six miles of Bayou Lafourche between Donaldsonville and Belle Rose.
MRRBL Phase 2 picks up where Phase 1 dredging ended just north of the LA Highway 998 bridge in Belle Rose. The project will remove vegetation and nearly 800,000 cubic yards of sediment in the 8.3 miles between Belle Rose and Napoleonville. The increased conveyance capacity will allow for more fresh water to enhance the water quality in the bayou, which serves as the main source of drinking water for more than 300,000 people and is the primary water source for offshore oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico.
Increasing the amount of fresh water flow into Bayou Lafourche will also have a positive impact on the coastal wetlands surrounding the Bayou by replenishing these areas with a continuous supply of fresh water, and also by combatting the further encroachment of saltwater from the Gulf.
Next Steps – Post Phase 2:
The BLFWD is currently pursuing funding to continue the implementation of the remaining components of the MRRBL. These remaining components include dredging from Napoleonville to Thibodaux, a new pump station, water-control structures, replacement of the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge, and the removal of the weir (small dam) in Thibodaux.
For additional information contact the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District at (985) 447-7155 or follow the project progress on Facebook at www.facebook.com/blfwd.