Lake Maurepas is located halfway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge and directly west of Lake Pontchartrain. The project site is a land bridge that, if compromised, would allow saltwater intrusion that will spoil the rich habitat of Maurepas. The project will rebuild an historic Cypress swamp located on a narrow strip of land located between the two lakes. The site is important to future aims of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan as anticipated diversions will need a healthy Maurepas system for sustaining it, with fresh water introduced into the wetlands from the Mississippi River.
The project will strengthen coastal resilience, advance conservation and management of wildlife habitat, and improve water quality through the restoration and enhancement of vegetative plantings and hydrologic improvements. The project will reduce the vulnerability caused by salt-water intrusion from Lake Pontchartrain and reduce the risk of flooding to local communities brought by stronger storms and sea level rise. AWF will partner with the landowner – RES – to attract private sponsors and educational institutions to demonstrate ecosystem stabilization techniques utilizing natural resources.
Project deliverables include: 400 acres of restored wetlands; a community adaptation forum; and earned media. Additionally, the project will involve partnerships with local universities. The project will be continuously well publicized and will take advantage of earned media opportunities from announcement to completion and beyond.