Public Notices Overview

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Published Sept. 17, 2018
Expiration date: 10/8/2018

NAME OF APPLICANT: Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Post Office Box 44027, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70804-4027.

LOCATION: Project located at approximately Latitude 29.85861, Longitude -93.34694, on the Calcasieu Ship Channel, in the community of Lake Charles, within Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.

The Project is located within the Calcasieu Watershed, Hydrologic Unit 08080206.

DESCRIPTION: The applicant proposes construction of structures designed to control saltwater entering Calcasieu Lake through the Calcasieu Ship Channel.  Structures would control salinity spikes, provide storm surge benefits, and would be constructed in a manner that would allow for the continued functioning, improvement and viability of the Calcasieu Ship Channel and the Port of Lake Charles.  The purpose of the proposed project is to manage the introduction of saline water from the Calcasieu Ship Channel into adjacent water bodies thereby reducing the rate of wetland loss in the project area and surrounding wetlands.  To achieve, in part, the goals in the 2012 Louisiana State Master Plan, the proposed project is needed to address modifications to hydrology that have caused an increase in salinity within the project area, resulting in loss of wetlands.  This project, as proposed, should achieve the following: (1) manage salinity levels in Calcasieu Lake and adjacent marshes to maintain marsh productivity and avoid marsh collapse; (2) minimize the economic impact to the navigation industry caused by potential delays in travel times resulting from any structures or modifications to the ship channel and avoid actions that cause safety issues for vessel operation; (3) achieve salinity management with minimal changes to the magnitude, frequency, duration, or extent of flood conditions in the project area.  The project study area has undergone substantial land loss since 1932.  The present-day Calcasieu Ship Channel cross section is more than 40 times larger than when it was first dredged for navigation in the late 1800s.  This change has affected hydrology by: channeling saltwater inland into a historically low-salinity estuary; reducing freshwater residence time when the tide ebbs; and, increasing tidal amplitude through the broader waterway.  Approximately 866,160 cubic yards (cy) of material would be excavated and redeposited onsite, approximately 97,791 cy of material would be excavated and hauled offsite, and approximately 1,219,246 cy of rock material would be deposited onsite for project construction.  The project would potentially affect 56,244 acres of wetlands and/or waterbottoms.  Approximately 6 acres of vegetated wetlands between the water’s edge and tie-in locations of adjacent spoil banks would be permanently impacted by project construction.  Additionally, the project would provide 30 acres of newly constructed artificial reef and, over the life of the project, an estimated 12,000 acres of marsh would be protection and sustained.