Louisiana Living Shoreline to Protect Levees, Restore Wetlands, and Reconnect People to the Coast

With $4.5 million dollars in funding from NOAA under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, Jefferson Parish is building the first living shoreline to protect a federal levee system.

Standing outside of Mr. Ed’s Seafood & Italian Restaurant—one of the Bucktown, Louisiana, restaurants to come back after Hurricane Katrina—you can look towards Lake Pontchartrain and see … nothing. The street dead ends at the sun-burnt slopes of a 17-foot-high levee built after the storm. While the levees provide essential protection to the residents of storm-battered Jefferson Parish, they severed the community’s long-time connection to the lake and removed key habitat for fish and other species. The new levees are higher and stronger, but they aren’t storm proof. They sink in Louisiana’s soft soil and get scoured by waves each time a storm rolls through.

A new project led by Jefferson Parish strives to address these challenges by constructing a mile-long living shoreline in Bucktown. NOAA has funded more than 200 living shorelines around the country. We are providing $4.5 million for the Bucktown project under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. Living shorelines use natural materials such as rocks and plants to protect coasts from erosion and storm damage while supporting the growth of healthy ecosystems.


Moffett & Nichol's design plan for the living shoreline (Image: Moffett & Nichol)
Moffett & Nichol’s design plan for the living shoreline. (Image: Moffett & Nichol)