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NOAA Wins Award for Best Restored Beach

Pelican Island, and its 540 acres of restored habitat, was named one of the Best Restored Beaches for 2013 by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association. It was recognized for the success of the project and its economic and environmental benefits, as well as the challenges it overcame.

Pelican Island is part of the barrier shoreline of the Barataria Basin where it intersects with the Gulf of Mexico. It is part of a 19-mile string of barrier islands that have been restored over the past two decades. Barrier islands reduce storm surges, and provide protection for wetlands and shellfish beds.

We dredged 4.5 million cubic yards of material—enough to fill the Superdome— from the Gulf of Mexico for the project. The sediment was used to form a 2.4 mile stretch of continuous shoreline on Pelican Island, where only fragments of the former island existed before. The new shoreline will help combat coastal land loss, create habitat, and improve protection for communities further inland.

Pelican Island was restored by NOAA and the Louisiana Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority through the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act. The $43.1 million contract was the largest restoration contract ever developed by NOAA.

Posted June 3, 2013

Sediment is used to rebuild shoreline on Pelican Island.
Aerial view of the barrier island before restoration. Image courtesy: Google Earth.
Aerial view of the barrier island after restoration. Image courtesy: Google Earth.