In 2021, we teamed up with several groups for the final step of the innovative Chandeleur Sound Living Shoreline project in St. Bernard Parish. More than 20 volunteers installed 20 Artificial Oyster Reefs (AOR) to create a 200-foot-long breakwater barrier off the coast of Comfort Island in Chandeleur Sound. The cages hold Coquina shell stone which mimics the natural formation of oyster beds and encourages new oyster growth. These oyster cages, installed in a row, will develop a living reef over time that provides storm and tide barriers, give marine habitat, help filter surrounding water and protect against coastal erosion.
The project was designed and permitted in 2018 for the purpose of reducing wetland erosion through the construction of oyster reef breakwaters. Through the project’s development, some 40 students from Chalmette High School dual enrolled in Nunez Community College and learned how to weld the AOR. They have earned course credits, welding certifications, and even wages for their work through the Louisiana Department of Education’s Jumpstart Summer program.
The living shoreline project is a funding recipient from the Cook off for the Coast with partners like Meraux Foundation and others gathering to raise awareness for the need for coastal restoration in local areas to help preserve vital habitat, fisheries, locals’ way of life and culture. We also partnered with Louisiana Department of Education, Nunez Community College, Southern Service Equipment, St. Bernard Parish Coastal Division, St. Bernard Parish Public Schools and St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office to bring this project to life.