Barataria Basin, Louisiana
Weeks Marine, Inc., a subsidiary of Kiewit Corporation, is an expert at rebuilding marshland along the coastline of Louisiana. Much of this marshland is no longer being replenished by the Mississippi River due to structural improvements along the river, primarily its channelization with rocks. As a result, the river no longer branches out to feed the surrounding marshland, natural habitats for diverse wildlife like birds, gators, turtles and more.
Working under the direction of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), Weeks dredged sand from the bottom of the Mississippi River, pumping it along a pipeline to an area that was once open water. Through this process, Weeks generated new land mass, creating seveb miles, or about 1,600 acres, of marshland. The project included building a ridge adjacent to the marsh, similar to a beach dune, nearly 200-feet-wide and approximately four feet above the water, which was planted with trees to provide additional wildlife habitat in the area.
Beyond the creation of much needed marshland from the ecological perspective, this new land area and ridge will also provide much needed storm protection, offering a buffer to hurricane storm waves along the coast.