Port Fourchon

Port Fourchon

Aboutmap of Port Fourchon

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Mississippi Valley Division (MVD), New Orleans District (MVN), is currently working to prepare a Draft Letter Report and supporting draft documentation such as: a Dredge Material Management Plan (DMMP), Engineering Appendix, Relocations Appendix and an Environmental Assessment (EA #601) for deep draft navigation in Port Fourchon, Louisiana. 

Study Authority

The deepening of Port Fourchon was authorized by Section 203 of the Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA) of 1986 (PL 998-662) as modified by Section 1014 of Water Resources and Reform Development Act (WRRDA) 2014. Also, by Section 1126 of the Water Infrastructure Improvements of the Nation Act (Public Law 114-322) which is also known as WIIN of 2016, and section 1152 of WRDA 2018. Section 203 allows non-Federal interests, such as GLPC, to undertake feasibility studies of proposed navigation projects and submit them to the ASA-CW. The Project is conditionally authorized by WRDA 2020 Section 403. “PORT FOURCHON BELLE PASS CHANNEL, LOUISIANA. —The project for navigation, Port Fourchon Belle Pass Channel, Louisiana, as described in the review assessment of the Secretary, titled ‘‘Review Assessment of Port Fourchon Belle Pass Channel Deepening Project Section 203 Feasibility Study (January 2019, revised January 2020)’’ and dated April 2020, at a total cost of $95,483,000.”

Proposed Action

The proposed action includes deepening of the Port Fourchon federal navigation channel. Deepening would be achieved by the same dredging operation that is currently used for maintenance. The existing maintenance project was authorized for a navigation channel 300 ft wide with an elevation of -24 ft Mean Low Gulf (MLG) on the inland reach for mile 3.4 to Mile 0.0 and to an elevation of -26 ft MLG for the offshore reach from Mile 0.0 to Mile -1.3. The Port Fourchon federal navigation channel has been maintained by USACE within the proposed action dimensions and alignment.  The proposed action would dredge the federal navigation channel to an elevation of -30 ft Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) for the inland reach plus 3 ft of advanced maintenance and to -32 ft MLLW for the offshore reach plus 4 ft of advanced maintenance (Figure 1). The proposed action follows the alignment of the existing maintenance project and extends to the newly authorized limits. Dredging would be accomplished with a hydraulic cutter-head dredge and material excavated would be transported to two (2) sites in a slurry via pipeline.  The two dredge material disposal sites are located on the exterior of the existing jetties near the intersection with the existing shoreline.  Discharge location would be 200 ft offshore and would extend 300 – 3000 ft from the jetties in the shallow open water and be allowed to flow (Figure 1). Construction access for dredge, attendant plant, and discharge line is in open water. No upland areas would be utilized for construction and maintenance of the project. 

Purpose and Need

The purpose of this study is to enhance the federal navigation channel in Bayou Lafourche, Louisiana. The objective of this study is to increase the channel depth of Bayou Lafourche inshore and offshore to accommodate deep draft vessels used for industrial purposes.

Study Area

Port Fourchon is on the southern tip of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, just north of the Gulf of Mexico. It is the southernmost point of Louisiana accessible by automobile, via Highway 1. The study area is located immediately inside the mouth of Bayou Lafourche. Port Fourchon is closer than any other service-oriented port to the largest number of existing and potential leases for oil and gas industry. Its location on the southeast coast of Louisiana was chosen to minimize the distance required to service oil and gas exploration and production industry.