The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation has recently completed construction on a wetland creation project at the mouth of Bayou St. John. Over half an acre of marsh has been created and planted using dredge spoil from the channel dredging project for the Bayou St. John sector gates. The wetland is now thriving with numerous fish and birds spotted within the lush plants. The Lake Ponchartrain Basin Foundation is holding a formal dedication of the wetland to the city on the morning of Tuesday, October 14th.
Bayou St. John is a natural and historic bayou within the city limits of New Orleans. The bayou has great historical significance since the bayou was used by French explorers to found New Orleans in 1718. Although the bayou has been highly altered from its natural swamp terrain and hydrology, the bayou has attained great urban beauty and is a prized green space corridor that runs from the Lafitte corridor to Lake Pontchartrain.
In spring 2013, the Orleans Levee District undertook a dredging project to unplug the mouth of Bayou St. John at Lake Pontchartrain and improve water flow inward when the floodgate is open. This is part of a series of projects intended to improve the Bayou’s hydrological and ecological function, including the recent removal of a nearby dam. The dredging project was an opportunity to beneficially use sediment for environmental enhancement.
Biologists working with the Lake Ponchartrain Basin Foundation developed a plan to build a containment dike using a relatively new product (called DeltaLok), and to have dredge material placed in two areas within the Bayou for the purpose of marsh creation to create an isolated area of marsh area along the otherwise armored seawall which stretches for ten miles along New Orleans’ recreational lakefront and Lakeshore Drive. The Lake Ponchartrain Basin Foundation hopes that the new marsh will draw the community to enjoy and embrace the area, and help focus international attention on Louisiana’s rich but imperiled environment.