Terrebonne Parish to implement freshwater plan
HOUMA (AP) — Terrebonne Parish officials are moving ahead with a project designed to dump freshwater from the Houma Navigation Canal into endangered coastal forests north of the Falgout Canal.
The project will replace aging water-control structures and dredge canals to flush the area with additional freshwater.
Terrebonne Coastal Restoration Director Nic Matherne said the area was a robust cypress swamp forest as recently as 30 years ago. But as the Gulf of Mexico has eroded the land, the area is transitioning to a brackish-water habitat.
“We want to hold on to what we have and reverse the salinity levels so we can begin restoring that cypress swamp,” Matherne said. He said there is interest in replanting forest in the area.
The project is being constructed with $9.3 million in Coastal Impact Assistance Program money.
The parish is in the final stages of securing a permit for the project. Matherne said he hopes to begin construction by the end of the year.
The Terrebonne Levee District is partnering with the parish government on the project because it will work in tandem with its planned levee project on Falgout Canal Road.
said levee director Reggie Dupre.
That levee is part of the levee district’s scaled-down Morganza-to-the-Gulf project, which involves building 10-foot levees and 18-foot floodgates from Gibson to Cut Off.