New Land In A Disappearing Delta

Teaming up to save the Louisiana marsh.

by Emily Guidry Schatzel, Sr. Communications Manager

Terracing project in Bay Denesse, Louisiana

“This is what Louisiana’s supposed to look like. Man, I’m happy.”

Those words from VP Sporting Council member Ryan Lambert hang in the air at the end of our new video highlighting a recent coastal restoration success – the Bay Denesse Delta Water Management Project has recently enhanced 2,500 acres of marsh in Plaquemines Parish.

In just a few short months, this project reconnected the river to its nearby wetlands, using a crevasse to convey fresh water and sediment to a nearby shallow bay. As layers of sediment deposited and vegetation began to take root, new land materialized.
While new land took root relatively quickly, this joint effort by Vanishing Paradise, Ducks Unlimited, North American Wetlands Conservation Council and Louisiana’s Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority, is the culmination of two years of planning, design and on-the-ground work.

The investment and work has paid off – creating new fish, duck and wildlife habitat in an area that’s been declining for decades. The Mississippi River has been cut off from its wetlands, starving them of sediment and fresh water, the very resources needed to replenish and sustain healthy marsh over time.

The impact and benefits of putting the river to work to restore these previously weakened coastal areas are clear.
“It’s growing like crazy,” said VP Sporting Council member Ryan Lambert. “We have land all around us. It’s building habitat for ducks and fish species….it’s just what we wanted. This is a brand new willow forest right here. Look at them all! This wasn’t here just a few months ago.”

The morals of the story? Our coastal crisis is complex but there are solutions. Sediment and fresh water from the river builds land. We need to reconnect the river to its wetlands to turn the tide on Louisiana’s land loss – and ensure our outdoors legacy survives for future generations.

See some of the newest land in Louisiana for yourself below.