Mary Tutwiler

Ducks Unlimted teams up with state in coastal restoration

by Mary Tutwiler

The state and Ducks Unlimited are partnering in a 2,500 acre coastal marsh restoration project in Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced yesterday. The project, to build terraces in the Black Lake and West Hackberry marshes, will counteract destructive wave action and saltwater intrusion caused by Hurricanes Rita and Ike, that has made open water out of the brackish marshes. The $3.2 million project was developed, says 2008 DU state chairman Armand Schwing of New Iberia, when members of the state office of coastal protection came to the private organization for input. “The governor’s office is keenly aware that Ducks Unlimited has seven decades of history in doing conservation work,” says Schwing. The state brought some seed money to the table, DU came back with a plan that pinpointed the area, then raised private funds and identified a matching federal grant through the North American Wetland Conservation Act, says Schwing. “It was a way to leverage the state’s money to do a much larger project,” Schwing added.