Barataria Land Bridge offers safety and restoration for South Louisiana

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LAFITTE, La. (WGNO) - "Any time we can slow down tidal surge we can protect someone's life, someone's property and our homes."

That's the main message Jefferson Parish Councilman Ricky Templet wants to get across.

He says the Barataria Land Bridge has created 330 acres of marshland, and it's not just about safety.

The project is environmentally friendly, too.

The ridge is 14 miles long and sits in Bayou Dupont. Sand has been brought in from the Mississippi River, and new growth is already thriving there. Now all that’s needed is enough funding for phase two.

"Phase two would carry the sediment pipeline even further reaches across Jefferson Parish and into Lafourche Parish, but funding is limited for that, and really it would cost upwards of $100 million to do the project in its entirety," says Flood Place Management and Hazard Mitigation Director Michelle Gonzales.

Phase two of the Barataria Land Bridge is in the design phase, and Jefferson Parish leaders are working to get to 25 percent completion in order to start applying for permits.

They've got a long way to go, but the success of phase one speaks for itself, they say.

"To come out and actually see what's been done in a very short period of time is pretty amazing, [an]18-month project and it benefits all of South Louisiana," says Jefferson Parish Chamber President Todd Murphy.

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