The fully-approved Jesuit Bend Mitigation Bank is an RS-owned, 338-acre former marsh and cypress-tupelo swamp that converted to open water over the last century and was restored to marsh in fall and winter of 2015-16. Restoration Systems and our financial partner and dredging contractor, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, have implemented a Phase One project restoring 247.4 acres from open water to fresh-to-intermediate marsh through re-establishment, enhancement, and rehabilitation of the degraded site. The Plaquemines Parish bank is listed on the Regional Internet Bank Tracking System (RIBITS) and provides mitigation credits for marsh impacts across the entire Deltaic Plain of Coastal Louisiana.
In order to restore the open water to marsh the mitigation bank utilized sediments from the Mississippi River, just as called for in the 2012 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan, and as nature was once did before the river was tamed by levees.
1.32 million cubic yards of material was dredged from 90 feet below the river and pumped nearly five miles to the open water project footprint. After exiting the dredge pipe the rich river sediments were manipulated by heavy equipment to achieve the precise elevations required by regulatory agencies to ensure project success.
If the dredged river sand were stacked on a football field — it would be taller than the Washington Monument. But the result will be much more flat. Planted with 211,000 plugs of marsh grass, the verdant new land is over seven city blocks.
The habitat restoration credit will be monitored over a 7 year period, under Long Term management for 50 years, and protected forever by a Conservation Servitude held by the Mississippi River Trust.