Aerial Pics: Recent Photos from the Jesuit Bend Mitigation Bank

We hired a chopper last week to get some additional pics of Jesuit Bend from the air. Very conveniently, the chopper service…Jesuit Bend Helicopters…is located about a Five-Iron from the bank site.

The “open water” you see in the photos will all eventually be filled with 1.8 million cubic yards of sand dredged 90′ down from the nearby Mississippi River and pumped to shore. Then it will be pumped a further four miles down river, up and over the “river levee,” under the highway and train tracks, over the west bank “flood levee,” and ultimately shoved around by heavy equipment to restore new marsh where now there is open water.

So, while these photos are interesting, you can only imagine how cool the photos will be when the site is actually under construction!

Gotta love it!

Out on the boats at Jesuit Bend with the agencies this week:

Swamp Love: RS' Jesuit Bend stars in reality show

On Friday night Episode 307 of “Sweet Home Alabama” aired. We allowed the reality show to use our beautiful swamp at Jesuit Bend as a filming location last month.

Never thought I’d see anyone “make out” on TV at one of our mitigation banks!

I can’t seem to get the video to “embed,” but see here for the episode.

Hollywood in the Swamp

RS owns 330 acres we are permitting as Phase One of a mitigation bank in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, along the west bank of the Mississipi River below New Orleans.

The site is called Jesuit Bend because it lies on the last big easterly turn of the river below the city, but still 72 miles from the gulf.

The land is a dying beauty. A mix of open water and remnant swamp that is slowly but surely transitioning to ALL open water.

At this point, Jesuit Bend can only be reached by airboat, but it is worth the trip. The remnant swamp portion of the site, about 50 acres, is picture perfect.  The site is so attractive that we have allowed production companies access to film the landscape.

To date, two productions have been filmed; a promotion for an upcoming Coldwell Banker annual conference, and a segment of the reality show, “Sweet Home Alabama,” on Country Music Television.

Here is the Coldwell Banker promo:

Sweet Home Alabama is filmed and in the can, but we don’t have a trailer to show just yet. The premise of the show, for better or worse, is good looking country people and fabulous city people mixing it up and romancing at beautiful southern locations. The show will air February 27th on Country Music Television.

Tune in!

Blogging for the Gulf: RS joins in

Blogging for the Gulf: A proposition

Reposted from Nature Blog Network here

No doubt every nature blogger was avidly following the ongoing tragedy of the Deepwater Horizon disaster earlier this year from its stomach-churning beginning to its unsettled conclusion to the frustrating way the public eye was removed from the still suffering people and ecosystems of the Gulf Coast once BP got their Sharper-Image-reject level technology to finally work (a cap! Getouttatown!).

Indeed for three long months anyone and everyone who cares about nature was held rapt by failure after failure after failure.  It was at some level it was self-salvation, to become absorbed by the human drama because the very real effect on the Gulf ecosystem seemed too catastrophic, too overwhelming, to fully internalize.  To dwell too much was, and still is, physically sickening.   All the more because the fallout from all of this remains a mystery, and the corporation responsible has been for the most part successful in sweeping so much of this epic mess under the rug assisted by a complicit media with the collective attention span of a cocaine-addled goldfish.  To say it’s maddening is an understatement of oil plumed proportions.

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Paul Howard Company launches dredge Noble Warrior in defense of our coastlines

The Paul Howard Construction Company, owned by the brother of the Swamp Merchant, recently launched a new boat designed to engage in the difficult and tricky work of coastal dredging — particularly coastal marsh restoration.

Swamp Brother’s craft, the Noble Warrior, was set a-sail in the bonny port of Beaufort, North Carolina, along with her loyal boat, Noble Tender.  They join a sister ship in-operation, dredge Noble Spirit.


It is exciting to see my brother engage in this new venture. The family tradition of water-related heavy construction is old. The Paul Howard Company, and it’s predecessor firms, Paul N. Howard Company, Howard International, and the Howard Management Group, date to the early 1920’s. The company’s North Carolina construction license is #80. There are very few contractors large or small on earth with the track-record of successful projects this organization enjoys.

Click the photo above to learn more of the history of Paul Howard Co.

RS is proud to share a little DNA with PHCC.  And seeing as how RS plans to move a few million yards of dirt ourselves — it is even possible our path cross the Howard company’s in the “Bayous to Be” of south Louisiana.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

The Noble Warrior Specs:

18″ x 16″ Cutter Suction Dredge and Idler Barge

State of the art dredge built to be truckable, versatile and maximize production. Less than 1 year old. Low hours

General Conditions:
Digging Depth 34′ @ 60 deg. Can be easily lengthened
Ladder Length 40′
Total Weight Est 220,000 lb
Hull Depth 5′
Mean Draft 40″
Center Section 53’x10’x5′
SidePonttons 6’x75’x5′
Overall Main Dredge 22’x90’x5′
Hull Thickness 1/4″ skin
Watertight Bulkheads Avg. every 10′


Idler Barge

Carridge Spud 40’x5’x12′
Spacer 40’x’4X12
Dredge Pump:
Suction 18″
Dischage 16″
Impellar Diameter 40″
Vosta Basket Style 58″ Replaceable teeth
Drive Planetarty gearbox with water lubricated cuttless bearings
Torque 300,000 ib-in 200 HP
Speed 0-25 RPM
Dredge Pump Cat C-32 1125 HP
Auxilliary Cat C-11 420 HP
Winches: Pullmaster M18
Swing Winch (2 Ea) 18,000 lb
Ladder Winch 18,000 lb
Spud Winches ( 2 Ea) 18,000 lb
Spuds ( 2 Ea)
40′ Round 1/2″ Wall
Hydraulic System
Valves Electr-proportional
Pumps Geartek gear pumps
Motors Geartek gear motors
Contamination Protection Pre strainers and10 Micron filters
System Releif All circuits set at 2500 psi
Operator Cab 8×10 Air Conditoned



Aluminum Speed Rail for entire dredge perimeter
Special ergonomic operator seat with integrated joystick controls
Heatshrunk electrial connections and elctrical grease on connections
Three job cranes for service of pump, spuds and misc.
Inside of all hull sectons painted
Penberthy pump primer
Heavy duty service water pump
Serive boat docking station
20′ shipping Container ( Shop and Spare Parts)
Berthhold Mass Flow density meter
Computer automated swing controls
Computer automated production and data logging
Also Available
Booster Pump ( Brand New) 16x18x46
(Zero Hours) Cat C-32 1125 HP

Dredge Tender Tug Boat (Brand New) 20 hours
Twin Screw JohnDeer 400 HP

Two service fuel barges

10,000 L.F. of 20″ SDR 17 pipe used on one job pumping silt



GObama!: President says clean-up to be followed by massive wetland restoration effort

Wetlands restoration plan is huge undertaking for White House

The ambitious effort may find the Obama administration in a political morass over how best to manage the lower Mississippi River, an issue that has stymied generations of political figures.

From: LA Times

President Obama’s announcement of an ambitious plan to restore Louisiana’s wetlands promises to ensnare the administration in a long-standing political morass over how best to manage the lower Mississippi River.

The size, scope and details of the restoration plan Obama announced Tuesday are still taking shape under the guidance of Navy Secretary and former Mississippi Gov. Ray Mabus, White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said. Obama asked Mabus to assess the gulf needs and complete his restoration plan to address them “as soon as possible,” aides said.

It appears likely that the environmental component of that plan will go far beyond cleaning up beaches and marshlands tainted by spilled oil, to rebuilding and restoring coastal areas that have suffered for decades from erosion, the impacts of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, commercial activities and other ills.

“Beyond compensating the people of the gulf in the short term, it’s also clear we need a long-term plan to restore the unique beauty and bounty of this region,” Obama said in a nationally televised address. “The oil spill represents just the latest blow to a place that has already suffered multiple economic disasters and decades of environmental degradation that has led to disappearing wetlands and habitats.”

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RS 2009 Cross Country Hustle Award: Travis Hamrick

When Restoration Systems was started it was our modest hope that one day the company might work from “Murphy to Manteo,” a phrase describing the breadth of North Carolina — 543 miles from West to East.

It occurred to us recently that Travis Hamrick — a “dirt chaser” extraordinaire here at RS — had thoroughly eclipsed that benchmark by traveling the breadth of the United States — from North to South — in less than a week.  In December.  Travis was working permits and mitigation demand for RS from the most steamy southern point of the “Mid-West,” Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, to the coldest and most northerly point, International Falls, Minnesota. A distance of 1,334 miles.  In December.  In a week.

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