TERREBONNE PARISH, La. (WGNO) — The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana announced the completion of the fifth oyster reef to be built as of late September.

The recent build is to protect 400 linear feet of marsh at Bayou Pointe-au-Chien near Montegut with workers returning 200 tons of recycled shells to the water.

The project is a part of the CRCL’s Oyster Shell Recycling Program and is being carried out with the help of about 250 volunteers in partnership with the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe.

“CRCL was honored to partner again with the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe, and we are thankful to our partners, our restaurants, and our legion of volunteers. This project will protect this community for decades to come. We can’t wait to get started on our next reef build,” said Oyster Shell Recycling Program Manager Darrah Bach.

The reef is what protects a rapidly eroding mound complex of cultural importance to the tribe hard hit by Hurricane Ida in 2021. This was the second phase of the build, the first was completed in Fall 2022.

CRCL and the tribe are said to be in the planning stages of stabilizing the banks of a mound and strengthening the living shoreline.

This is done by filling in the opening of the quickly eroding trenasse. The work will serve as a pilot effort to plug abandoned canals in the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuarine System.

“The oyster shell project is a very good way to protect against rapid land loss. We hope to continue to build oyster reefs with CRCL, so we encourage people to eat more oysters. We need the shells,” said Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe Elder Theresa Dardar.

A recent measurement shows a 50% reduction rate of erosion. Through the program, more than a reported 13 million pounds of shells were collected from New Orleans restaurants and diverted back to the waters to form oyster reefs.

To learn more about the project, along with the allotted funding, visit the Restore Louisiana Estuaries website.

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