Projects: Sediment Diversion

Sediment diversions mimic nature’s historic land-building processes by using the power of the river to move sediment and fresh water into nearby basins. This project type can build new land and is critical for helping sustain new and existing wetlands. Sediment diversions provide a sustainable source of sand and mud over time to sustain nearby marsh creation, barrier island and ridge restoration projects.

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East Maurepas Diversion

  • State: Louisiana
  • Type: Sediment Diversion
  • Basin: Pontchartrain-Maurepas Basin

Also known as Mississippi River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp, this diversion project, near Garyville, Louisiana will channel fresh water and some sediment from the river to benefit the eastern Maurepas swamp. Dominated by bald cypress and water tupelo trees, this swamp is one of the largest forested wetlands in the nation. However, levees constructed along the river and the closure of Bayou Manchac have isolated the area from spring floods that once provided vital fresh water, nutrients and sediment. This along with higher salinities that were throughout the Pontchartrain Basin before the closure of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet has left the swamp in a state of rapid decline – trees are dying, and young trees are not growing to replace them. The East Maurepas Diversion will benefit the swamp by reconnecting it with the river, preventing further loss and the conversion to open water, and push back against future increases in salinity due to sea level rise. .

Fish and Waterfowl Benefits

Increased fresh water and nutrient input in the Maurepas Swamp will help prevent further conversion of swamp to open water and combat saltwater intrusion into the more than 100,000 acre Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area which offers opportunities for sportsmen to hunt white-tailed deer, ducks and alligator and fish for freshwater species, such as largemouth bass, sunfish, and crappie.

Project Status: 
Conceptual > Feasibility & Planning > Engineering & Design > Under Construction > Completed

Latest News: $14.2 million awarded to design, engineer Maurepas Swamp diversion project

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Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion

  • State: Louisiana
  • Type: Sediment Diversion
  • Basin: Breton-Chandeleur Basin
  • Land Benefit: 20,232 acres

This project will be located along the east bank of the river, near White Ditch, Louisiana. This sediment diversion will supply fresh water and sediment into deteriorating marshes of the Breton Sound Basin. The wetlands in the project’s influence area have disappeared due to changes in the supply and distribution of fresh water, sediment starvation, rapid subsidence, saltwater intrusion and storm events. This project will reconnect the wetlands in the mid-Breton Basin with the river, diverting sediment and fresh water to build new land and sustain existing marsh.

Fish and Waterfowl Benefits

This project will build, enhance, sustain and protect wetlands in the mid-Breton Basin. The project will also help restore and maintain the estuarine gradient (fresh water habitat in the upper basin to salt water closer to the Gulf) that is vital to the estuary’s fish, blue crabs, and waterfowl, other species and recreational fish species in the Gulf.

Project Status: 
Conceptual > Feasibility & Planning > Engineering & Design > Under Construction > Completed

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Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion

  • State: Louisiana
  • Type: Sediment Diversion
  • Basin: Barataria Basin
  • Land Benefit: 68,000 acres

This sediment diversion project is located on the west bank of the river, near Myrtle Grove. The brackish and freshwater wetlands in the area are highly degraded due to saltwater intrusion, decreased fresh water supply, alterations to the natural flow of water in the area and a lack of sediment input. This project will reconnect the river to the Barataria Basin and divert sediment and fresh water to build new land, maintain existing marshes and increase habitat’s ability to persist in the face of rising sea levels and recover from storm events.

Fish and Waterfowl Benefits

By building new land and helping to sustain the existing wetlands, this project will restore and enhance critical habitat for fish, ducks and other wildlife in mid-Barataria Basin. This project will also help to sustain the Barataria Landbridge which protects freshwater habitat in the upper part of the basin that provide recreational opportunities for sportsman, including the 30,000 acre Salvador/Timken Wildlife Management Area and the 20,000 acre Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve, from the saltwater intrusion and storms.

Project Status: 
Conceptual > Feasibility & Planning > Engineering & Design > Under Construction > Completed

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