Protecting Louisiana's Sensitive Marsh Areas

US Coast GuardState officials with the Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration are coordinating with officials from BP and the Coast Guard to drive pilings to affix boom that will help protect sensitive marsh in western Lafourche Parish.

Officials are concentrating efforts on an area in northern Timbalier Bay known as Lake Raccourci, located west of Port Fourchon.

Boom will be attached to the pilings to improve the stability and effectiveness of this oil spill protection effort.

Area marshes, which serve as breeding grounds and nurseries for a host of fish, crustaceans and other wildlife, continue to be threatened by oil entering Timbalier Bay from the Gulf of Mexico. Oil from the leaking BP well located off the mouth of the Mississippi River was first spotted in Timbalier Bay in mid-May.

Officials are working to drive pilings under an emergency authorization from the Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Natural Resources.

Similar piling projects have been completed in St. Bernard Parish and are also being planned for islands in Terrebonne Parish.

In addition to driving pilings for boom, other methods such as Tiger Dams, HESCO barriers and geo-textile mesh fencing are being constructed to protect Lafourche Parish marshes and beaches.

National Guardsmen are working to deploy six miles of Tiger Dams on the Fourchon Beach to help stop oil from washing up on dunes and sensitive beach and marsh vegetation. Approximately half a mile has been deployed as of Tuesday afternoon.

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