Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Restoration

The Bayou Bienvenue wetlands extend from the Lower 9th Ward in the City of New Orleans to the Lake Borgne Surge Barrier. The wetlands and surrounding communities were heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and have been identified as a priority restoration project in Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan. Models from the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) show that the area will continue to see habitat degradation and wetland loss without significant action. The surrounding Lower 9th Ward community was devastated by Hurricane Katrina and saw its population decrease from approximately 14,000 to just over 4,000 today. 

Rehabilitation of the wetlands will include a combination of wetland creation, vegetative planting, and hydrologic restoration. The proposed work will use a structured decision-making process to develop a restoration plan that considers project costs, sediment availability, and land ownership issues. The City will then use this plan to develop preliminary designs for the restoration of the area. 

Partnering with the City of New Orleans on the project are The Water Institute of the Gulf, Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, National Wildlife Federation, and Nunez Community College. 

The City has been awarded two grants for development of this project, including $489,813 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants for Underserved Communities Program and $888,000 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s National Coastal Resilience Fund.