Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge Gulf Shoreline Stabilization Project

Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge Gulf Shoreline Stabilization Project

Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge Gulf Shoreline Stabilization Project

The Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge experiences an average rate of 50 feet of erosion per year, and the State of Louisiana has been aggressively combating the 25 to 35 square miles of coastal habitat loss that occurs annually in Louisiana. Since 2002, we have been working with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service on the Rockefeller Refuge Gulf Shoreline Stabilization Project (ME-18) to help preserve and restore the area’s coastline.  

Project challenges included extremely soft soils exposed to an open Gulf high-wave energy environment. Therefore, before the project could move forward, experimental breakwater alternatives had to be tested. Our initial alternatives analysis included over 50 shoreline protection options that were reduced to three demonstration projects built in 2009.

Monitoring data and lessons learned during the demonstration project construction were used to design the full 3-mile project. The final design features a series of breakwaters with a core of encapsulated lightweight aggregate to reduce the overall weight of the breakwaters while providing shoreline protection from waves and erosion.

The project is currently under construction and funded through the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act, a program that provides federal funding for coastal restoration projects in Louisiana. Scheduled for completion in 2019, this first-of-its-kind on the open-coast shoreline stabilization project will benefit 193 acres of coastal marsh along 3 miles of the Gulf of Mexico.

Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge Gulf Shoreline Stabilization Project
Client
Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
Location

Cameron Parish, LA
United States

Size
3-mile long breakwater