Efforts to restore Trinity-East Island in Terrebonne Parish are now complete, according to the state.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) made the announcement on Friday, September 24.
The island was restored as part of the Terrebonne Basin Barrier Island and Beach Nourishment project, which includes the restoration of West Belle Headland and Timbalier Island.
The state says that the Terrebonne Basin project is using $167 million in funds from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and $3 million in state funds to restore 1,257 acres of marsh, dune, and beach in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.
The completed Trinity-East project built over 2.5 miles of continuous shoreline and 301 acres of beach habitat on the historic barrier island, they say.
“The newly completed Trinity-East Island project faced an immediate test with Hurricane Ida, and it passed,” Gov. Edwards said. “The project’s success is a testament to the resiliency of our coastal projects and the importance of restoring and preserving Louisiana’s barrier island chain. We’re excited to announce the completion of Trinity-East Island and the continuation of this 1,257-acre restoration effort on Timbalier Island and West Belle Headland."
Trinity-East Island is part of the Isle Derniéres Wildlife Refuge, a once-popular resort island on Louisiana’s Southeast coast. The Last Island Hurricane of 1856 destroyed Isle Derniére, also known as “Last Island,” causing its eventual split into five individual islands including Wine, Trinity, East, Whiskey, and Raccoon.
“Despite facing one of the strongest hurricanes in our state’s history, Trinity-East Island fared incredibly well and sustained minimal damage,” CPRA Chairman Chip Kline said. “Hurricane Ida reaffirmed the necessity of protecting the systems that protect us. The Terrebonne Basin project serves both protection and restoration functions while playing an integral role in the coastal program’s multiple lines of defense strategy.”
The project’s next phase will include the restoration of 376 acres of beach and marsh on Timbalier Island and 97 acres of additional beach on West Belle Headland. Construction on Timbalier Island began on July 31.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) manages the Isle Dernières Wildlife Refuge, which includes a portion of the Trinity-East project site.
“This project is an impressive example of the state’s commitment to protect coastal properties, as well as to provide critical habitat for birds and other species of greatest conservation need,” LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said.
Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF, said the landscape scale of the Terrebonne Basin project will drive long-term sustainability for the iconic wildlife populations of coastal Louisiana, as well as for the communities and industries that rely on these natural habitats as a first line of defense against storms and erosion.
“The Foundation’s $167 million investment in the Terrebonne project was made through our Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, which was established to help mitigate the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” Trandahl said. “As recently demonstrated by Hurricane Ida, these kinds of investments can provide both immediate and long-term benefits to local communities and wildlife habitat.”
Vegetative plantings will begin on Trinity-East Island this fall.
For more information about the Terrebonne Basin Barrier Island Project, click here.
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