Project Description
The Davis Pond diversion structure, constructed in 2002 in upper Barataria Basin, has a maximum operating capacity of 10,600 cfs [378 cms]. The structure has been operated as a salinity management feature, with freshwater introductions from the Mississippi River ranging from 1,000 cfs up to 5,000 cfs [36 cms to 178 cms] averaging, to this point in time, considerably less than half of the structure’s capacity. The primary purpose of the existing Davis Pond project has been to maintain salinity gradients in the central portion of Barataria Basin. This operation, in effect, partially restored the historic functions of marsh nourishment (e.g., freshwater inflow, providing nutrients and sediment to the marsh, and countering the effects of subsidence). This restoration feature study would assess changes in the operation of the Davis Pond project to increase wetland creation and restoration outputs. Modified operation of this structure could potentially result in an increase in the freshwater introduction rate, perhaps 5,000 cfs [178 cms] on average, to accommodate the wetland building function of the system. This study would identify changes to feature’s operation that would increase restoration outputs. The introduction of additional freshwater would facilitate organic and sediment deposition, improve biological productivity, and prevent further deterioration of the marshes. This feature is located in the vicinity of a historic crevasse. Any proposed change in purpose that would require modification of the existing project authorization would be submitted for Congressional approval.
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