CCA Louisiana and Conservation Partners to Build Second Phase of “Floating Islands” at Cypremort Point | Shell and conservation partners to join with local students to create new marsh in Vermilion Bay

Coastal Conservation Association’s National Habitat Program, Building Conservation Trust, in cooperation with Shell Oil, Entergy, Martin Ecosystems and local high school students from AMIkids, middle school students from Catholic High of New Iberia and 4-H members from Baton Rouge will join together once again on Friday, April 12th to help rebuild the coastline in Vermilion Bay near Cypremort Point with a second Floating Islands installation. 

Starting on Friday at 9:00 a.m., volunteers from Shell and Entergy will join local CCA chapter volunteers and about 100 students at Cypremort Point State Park to build approximately 2,500 square feet of new wetland island habitat and place them in the water just south of Quintana Canal. Each 8 x 15 foot “island” will hold 300 plants and will be placed end-to-end and anchored to the water bottom. Roughly 5,000 native plants, including mangrove, seashore paspalum and smooth cord grass, will be installed. The “floating islands” technology allows these plants to take root in the water bottom while providing protection to the existing shoreline from the natural elements. 

The “islands” for Friday’s project have been created using recycled plastic bottles from the 2018 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

This is the fifth project of this type spearheaded by CCA Louisiana in recent years. The first was Phase I of the Isle de Jean Charles Project in Point Aux Chenes, completed in 2011. Phase II of the Isle de Jean Charles project followed in 2013. In 2015, CCA and partners joined forces to build more than 1000 linear feet of islands off Highway 1 near Grand Isle. Last year, the initial installation occurred in Vermilion Bay close to Cypremort Point. In all, nearly 25,000 square feet of new marsh has been built by CCA to create habitat and fortify marshland that had been devastated by years of erosion and storms. These projects are the first to use this technology, developed by Martin EcoSystems, in an open-water marine environment application. In some cases, the “floating island marsh” has even outperformed the surrounding natural marsh.

Funding for the Cypremort Point project is provided by CCA’s Building Conservation Trust, Shell, Entergy and Martin Ecosystems along with donations by individual CCA members. Youth volunteers are coordinated by the CCA Louisiana Youth Outreach program in partnership with the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation and the Magistro Family Foundation.

In all, this will be the 26th habitat project completed in recent years by CCA Louisiana and their partners, including 22 artificial reefs and 4 marsh planting projects, at a total cost of about $9 million.

The project will occur come rain or shine on Friday, April 12, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 pm. Lunch will be provided to all volunteers.  All media is invited to attend the build on Friday, April 12th, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

For information on volunteering for the project, please contact CCA Louisiana at 225-952-9200.