Draft Restoration Plan for Louisiana's Rabbit Island and Jean Lafitte National Historical Park Released

The proposed Rabbit Island project will restore 87.8 acres of the island’s original 200-acre footprint.

The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has released a draft restoration plan proposing a bird restoration project on Rabbit Island, and a habitat restoration at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.  

We will accept comments on the plan, titled “Draft Phase 2 Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment #1.3 Rabbit Island Restoration and Shoreline Protection at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve” (PDF, 149 pages) through December 20, 2019. We'll also be hosting a webinar on December 2 to present the plan and take written comments.

The combined cost of the projects is $67 million. These costs cover engineering and design, construction, monitoring and adaptive management, and operations and maintenance.  

Rabbit Island Bird Restoration

The proposed Rabbit Island project will restore 87.8 acres of the island’s original 200-acre footprint. Rabbit Island, eroding at an accelerated rate, is habitat for seventy bird species, including brown pelicans. The project will help provide more habitat for birds by raising the elevation of Rabbit Island using dredged material from the Calcasieu Ship Channel. The estimated cost of this project is $27 million.

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve Habitat Restoration

The proposed shoreline protection project at Jean Lafitte will install a rock breakwater along the eastern shorelines of Lake Cataouche, Lake Salvador, and Bayou Bardeaux. The breakwater will include several openings for water to pass in and out, improving fish passage and water quality behind the structure. Implementation is proposed in two increments, the northern and the southern portions of the affected shorelines. In the Phase 2 Restoration Plan #1.3, implementation of only the southern portion is proposed. The estimated cost for the southern portion of this project is $40 million

The proposed projects were approved for engineering and design in the 2017 Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Final Restoration Plan #1: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats; Habitat Projects on Federally Managed Lands; and Birds (also referred to as the Phase 1 Restoration Plan #1). The draft plan and projects are consistent with the Trustees’ programmatic restoration plan and supplements.

Public Comment Period

Public comments will be accepted through December 20, 2019. Public comments can be submitted online and through the mail.

December 2 Webinar

We will conduct a public webinar on December 2, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. CT. We will present the draft plan and take written comments submitted through the webinar. Please register for the webinar at our GoToWebinar registration page.

After registering, participants will receive a confirmation with directions for joining the webinar. A GoToWebinar system check is recommended before attending. The presentation will be posted on the web shortly after the webinar is conducted.

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