[StBernard] St. Bernard Parish wetlands project would move forward with council resolution

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Tue Jun 17 20:26:27 EDT 2014

St. Bernard Parish wetlands project would move forward with council
Print Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune By Benjamin
Alexander-Bloch, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune 
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on June 17, 2014 at 12:44 PM, updated June 17, 2014 at 2:22 PM

The St. Bernard Parish Council is scheduled to approve Tuesday a resolution
that would allow the parish to begin a $2 million project to restore 346
acres of parish wetlands.

"This area was once a thriving cypress wetland prior to salt water intrusion
caused by the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet," according to the project's
permit application.

The vote comes as the council's agenda Tuesday was greatly curtailed because
of a computer virus that prevented the timely advertising of various
proposed ordinances as required by law.

The wetlands project is one of the items the council will be able to
consider. The application for the project said "the conversion of broken
marsh areas to enhanced wetlands would aid in protecting areas of St.
Bernard and Orleans Parishes from future storm vulnerability while the
environmental improvements would protect the local economy and culture which
is dependent on the benefits of a productive wetlands."

The project, paid for by federal Coastal Impact Assistance Program funds,
would restore the wetlands in part by pumping disinfected wastewater from
the parish's Riverbend Oxidation Pond, located at 7515 E. Judge Perez Dr. in
Violet. It would pump that effluent about 3,000 feet northward into adjacent
wetlands in the southwestern region of the Central Wetlands Unit, according
to state and parish documents on the project.

The project will entail construction of a new effluent pump station,
improvements to the facility's existing disinfection system, and
distribution piping from the pond into the wetlands.

The second phase of the project is expected to consist of planting about 200
cypress tree and 200 tupelo gum tree seedlings. The third phase would
consist of monitoring and managing the wetland restoration for a 5-year
period, in accordance with state Department of Environmental Quality permit

If passed on Tuesday, the council resolution would authorize the parish
administration to enter into a cooperative endeavor agreement with the Lake
Borgne Basin Levee District. The agreement is needed because the project
will require working within the levee district's existing right of way.

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