2016 at Jesuit Bend Mitigation Bank

Hello, folks, I’m back for a rare blog post but it’s never too late to share the unique rewards of mitigation banking. Below I have posted video and here are some photos of the Jesuit Bend Mitigation Bank in Louisiana as it completes Year One monitoring. As the ecology matures, Jesuit Bend has a lot to teach anyone who is interested in coastal restoration. Simply viewing the project is informative.

This time last year Dredge Florida was roughly halfway finished with the 100 day dredging phase. Then in January we planted 211,000 pots of marsh grass. Today the site is meeting all interim success criteria, with thriving vegetation and proper elevations.

If you are only here for sport, check out the gator hunt at Jesuit Bend in late September and here for the kill shots.

Jesuit Bend profiled in ‘good news’ Christmas Day Wall Street Journal Op-Ed

Gulf Coast writer Quin Hillyer did an incredible job making Jesuit Bend’s complex story interesting and readable in an op-ed last week. Ecological facts, policy insight, local perspective and technical specs all wrapped up with a bow. We are thrilled and grateful at RS to be a good news item in America’s largest newspaper on Christmas Day.

Here is the link at WSJ.com.

How Markets Can Restore Louisiana¹s Marshes – WSJ[11] by Restoration Systems, LLC

New Orleans Public Radio and The Advocate cover Jesuit Bend and mitigation banking

Tegan Wendland of WWNO, the New Orleans public radio station, and Amy Wold of the Baton Rogue and New Orleans Advocate, did nice work with recent stories concerning Jesuit Bend and the mitigation industry. I sometimes feel for reporters covering mitigation banking. By necessity, they must explain the regulatory and policy background of banking, which, if properly done, takes at least a few minutes or several columns of print. And then, somewhere in the story, an actual mitigation bank and commercial enterprise must be described, with all the financial, ecological and regulatory context that entails. Tegan manages the challenge well in this segment. I was also excited to see that she used an RS video and photo, it is hard for reporters to catch some of the best scenes during the construction process, so the use of our digital material is always welcome.

On the radio segment, it was disappointing to hear Mark Davis of Tulane give faint praise (at best) to mitigation banking. And I hope his quote that a mitigation bank is not “true restoration” was abbreviated from a fuller discussion. I think he was attempting to communicate that a mitigation bank cannot be counted as “additive” to the wetland resource base since other acres — potentially equal acres — are permitted for destruction. That is true to an extent, but begs the question, should we not compensate for damage simply because it might only result in no-net-loss? He answers that question in an earlier statement, saying such impacts would be avoided and minimized…in “a perfect world.” Hmmmm.

wwno logo

WNNO: Restoration Work Profitable For ‘Mitigation Banks’

By TEGAN WENDLAND, November 23, 2015

There is a giant pipe that runs four miles from the Mississippi River over land to an expanse of open water just south of Belle Chasse on the West Bank. Rich murky river water spews from the pipe, so that the mud will settle and build new land. This open water used to be healthy marsh.

George Howard, a North Carolinan with a hearty laugh, plans to make it healthy again. He’s the CEO of Restoration Systems.

His giant rubber boots stuck in the mud on a sunny day as he watched excavators spread the sediment out in the swamp to build land. It’s a noisy, messy job, “That is the absolute brand-newest part of the state of Louisiana. It is a nice kind of darkish-grey color that is a mixture of sand which has come from everywhere from Colorado to Minnesota to Tennessee.”

See the entire story here at WWNOBaton-Rouge-Advocate-Logo-590x1441The Advocate: Private companies restoring wetlands in Plaquemines Parish are employing mitigation bank process

By AMY WOLD, NOV 25, 2015

A private wetlands creation project in Plaquemines Parish, with the size and complexity of state-built coastal restoration work, expects to take advantage of a mitigation bank to bring back wetlands near the Mississippi River and make a profit at the same time.

Mitigation banks are a vehicle by which a company doing habitat restoration work earns credits that it can then sell to other companies doing projects that damage wetlands or other habitats. Companies receive credits before the project begins, once it’s finished, three years after completion and seven years after completion.

The credits received before a project begins are often used as startup funds for the project.

The Plaquemines project started about five years ago when George Howard, CEO of Restoration Systems in Raleigh, North Carolina, learned there were going to be opportunities for mitigation banks in southeast Louisiana as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started looking for credits following the completion of the massive New Orleans levee project.

See the entire story here at The Advocate

 

Jesuit Bend: All over Facebook and new RS website

If you are interested in following developments at Jesuit Bend, we recommend you immediately follow RS at our company Facebook page — or, if FB ain’t your thang — visit the Jesuit Bend feature page on our brand new company website.

We are populating Facebook with current and recent photos of the dredge-and-fill work from the Mississippi River:

Screenshot 2015-11-16 20.28.46

 

And the new website is increasingly filled with material of more long-term interest, like news articles, or particularly instructive photos and video:

 

Screenshot 2015-11-16 20.29.31

 

 

 

 

Jesuit Bend project on Fox 8 New Orleans

Full text and video from the Fox 8 website

By Rob Masson —

It’s a first of it’s kind project, just below Belle Chasse. Dozens of acres of new wetlands are being created in an area, that was once thriving, thanks to a unique new approach that could be implemented in other damaged coastal areas. It took thousands of years to build and just over 100 to disappear, but building it back won’t happen overnight.

“When it comes out of the pipe, an excavator spreads it away, so it doesn’t clog the pipe itself,” said George Howard with ‘Restoration Systems’. River sediment must be scraped off of the bottom with huge dredges like the Florida, then pumped five miles under roads and over the same levees blamed for choking off wetlands in order to recreate them.

FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Jesuit Bend in the news

For 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thick coffee-with-cream colored sludge will be pumped directly from a mammoth dredge on the river to an expanse of marshy lake behind Jesuit Bend.To take a tour from the dredge operation sucking up the Mississippi mud to a pipe spouting the material into the marsh, it appears to be land building at its most efficient.