Acadiana Bays Reef Restoration Feasibility Study

Louisiana Department of Natural Resources

Acadiana Bays Reef Restoration Report

This study examined the potential of rebuilding reefs west of the Wax Lake Outlet to influence salinity and turbidity patterns in the Acadiana Bays system. To properly evaluate the potential changes, a hydrologic model of the Acadiana Bays system was developed, extending from Four-League Bay to Freshwater Bayou. Surveys were taken to update bathymetry, and a monitoring station was installed to supplement salinity, turbidity, and water current data available for the area.

Three reef alignments approximately 12-14 miles long were examined. They extended from Point Chevreuil, oriented to the west, southwest, and south. The model examined salinity and turbidity patterns at mean, low, high, and intermediate/winter flows for the Atchafalaya River and Wax Lake Outlet. Additionally, the three alignments were evaluated with the Atchafalaya River flow rate reduced by 10% to model the effects of a proposed diversion north of Morgan City.

To examine possible influences on salinity patterns, a model run with the historic waterways configuration (pre-1940) was conducted. This gave insight into the conditions prior to the construction of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Wax Lake Outlet, and incorporated pre-1940 flow rates.

An Open House Forum was held on Tuesday, 17 October 2006 to present the findings of the modeling. A summary slide show (PDF 1.38 MB) and fact sheet (PDF 40 KB) were presented.

Questions and comments can be directed to the LDNR Project Engineer, Russ Joffrion, P.E., at