Quality Water

ExxonMobil awards DU $500,000 for Louisiana Wetland Restoration

By -- Staff

ExxonMobil recently committed $500,000 to Ducks Unlimited (DU) to help support the Bayou Chene restoration project in Vermilion Parish.

“We are pleased to see this partnership renewed and elevated,” said DU Director of Development Bob Dew. “ExxonMobil and Ducks Unlimited share a significant interest in ensuring the coastal wetlands that make Louisiana an incredible place to live, work, and visit are here for generations to come. For example, ExxonMobil has supported conservation efforts at Sherburne and Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Areas, which are owned and managed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.”

ExxonMobil and DU first partnered in 1993 on the Leck Mayes Reservoir project in Wyoming. Since then, ExxonMobil has focused the majority of its support on wetlands conservation efforts in Louisiana, and its overall investment in conservation through Ducks Unlimited reached $1.5 million.

“ExxonMobil is committed to protecting biodiversity where our people work, live and enjoy the unique Louisiana culture that revolves around this sportsman’s paradise,” said Joe Colletti, Louisiana asset manager, ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions. “The important wetland restoration and protection work that DU does through its Gulf Coast Initiative provides vital habitats for waterfowl, wildlife and fisheries, along with storm protection for coastal communities.”

The half-million-dollar grant will support the Bayou Chene Marsh Enhancement project west of the Vermilion River and north of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near Intracoastal City. The project area consists of 900 acres of marsh damaged by Hurricane Rita. The 2005 storm surge converted several hundred acres of emergent marsh to open water and increased tidal flow, which continues to affect the area through exacerbated scour and shoreline erosion.

DU plans to install a low-level rock weir and an earthen plug in two waterways adjacent to Bayou Chene to reduce tidal scour and restore the hydrologic integrity of the project area. DU will also construct approximately 24,000 linear feet of marsh terraces within the open-water areas to reduce wave action and shoreline erosion and create suitable conditions for submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) growth. SAVs are important food resources for waterfowl and nursery grounds for young fish and shellfish.

The project area is owned by ExxonMobil and is managed by the Vermilion Corporation through a long-term surface lease. Additional project support comes from the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, Vermilion Parish Police Jury, Vermilion Corporation, Chevron, Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Whitestone Inc., Mr. James Broussard and DU Gulf Coast Initiative Sponsors.

For more information, visit www.ducks.org. Follow DU's news Twitter feed – @DUConserve – to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited.