The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced Thursday the completion of two recreational use projects in the Mississippi River Delta. The Pass-a-Loutre Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Campgrounds projects improved five campgrounds owned and operated by LDWF in the Pass-a-Loutre area below Head of Passes in Plaquemines Parish. The Pass-a-Loutre WMA-Crevasse Access project created five crevasses through dredging to enhance boating access to prime hunting and fishing areas and to allow river water and sediment to nourish them.
The projects were selected by the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group and are being built with Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) funds resulting from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
"Billions of dollars are being spent to rectify the oil spill's damage to our coastal environment," said CPRA Board Chairman Chip Kline. "But residents lost a lot, too, when they weren't able to access sites that were impacted by the spill. Alongside LDWF, we are restoring and enhancing facilities to improve public access to the beauty and bounty of our Sportsman's Paradise."
The campground improvements and crevasses total $2.8 million and are among the first of 23 announced projects to be completed using $60 million in funds designated as compensation for the loss of recreational opportunities resulting from the BP oil spill. Fishing piers and educational signage have also been completed in the Rockefeller Refuge in Cameron Parish.
LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said the two state agencies continue to move projects forward despite challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Having to adhere to coronavirus restrictions created some challenges to completing the project, but we, along with CPRA, overcame those issues through perseverance, communication, and great teamwork," said Montoucet. "Pass-a-Loutre is a Louisiana treasure and we are glad to enhance the public's opportunity to enjoy these improvements and new crevasses."
Another Plaquemines Parish recreational use project will build a back-down boat ramp and parking facility at the existing unimproved boat launch off of Walker Road in Belle Chasse.
"This proves every inch of our parish is precious, from the northern boundary down to the far edges of the Mississippi River delta," said Plaquemines Parish President Kirk Lepine. "You need to travel by boat to get to the Pass-a-Loutre campgrounds at Loomis Pass (#1 and #2), Cadro Pass, Southeast Pass, and South Pass, but they're worth the trip. We now have five campgrounds with new boat docks, picnic tables, and barbeque pits. We couldn't be more pleased."
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