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Home > Communications > Newsroom > 2012


Sea Grant Funds Project to Demolish Outdated Bayou St. John Water Control Structure
April 2 , 2012

NEW ORLEANS – In an effort to improve water flow and recreational fisheries along Bayou St. John, the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Sea Grant programs through a partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Restoration Center are funding the removal of a non-functional water control structure on the bayou. The $234,000 project will be executed by the Orleans Levee District (OLD), and the NOAA Restoration Center/GOM Sea Grant partnership is contributing $95,000 toward the cost.

A recent study concluded the old water control structure is unnecessary. The cement structure, built in 1962, was originally designed with open butterfly valves to control water flow from Lake Pontchartrain. But years of valve maintenance problems rendered the control structure superfluous. In 1992, additional floodgates were built to replace the old structure.

“Because the new, much higher sector gate structure is the primary protection for storm surge entering the bayou, the original purpose of the 1962 structure to protect against storm surge is no longer necessary,” said Gerard Gillen, OLD executive director.

The primary benefit of removing the old control structure will be to restore historic hydrologic flow into the bayou, allowing for the re-establishment of Bayou St. John’s aquatic vegetation and the growth of native marine life. Officials also hope that the revitalized bayou will attract more recreational activity along the City Park lagoons that feed off the bayou.

"This is an excellent opportunity to improve access to Bayou St. John for fish and for the human residents of the surrounding communities," said Mel Landry, a NOAA marine habitat resource specialist located in Baton Rouge.

If all goes as planned, the project will be completed by the end of June.

Members of the public are invited to a meeting to discuss these improvements on April 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the New Orleans City Park Pavilion. Representatives from Louisiana Sea Grant, Orleans Levee District, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and NOAA will be available to discuss and answer questions.

The Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant programs consist of the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Texas Sea Grant College Program, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, and Florida Sea Grant. Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at LSU, is part of the National Sea Grant Program, a network of 32 university-based programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico.


Roy Kron
Director of Outreach and Communications
Louisiana Sea Grant College Program
(225) 578-6564

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