The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has awarded a $54 million construction contract to Galveston, Texas-based Callan Marine Ltd. for the North Breton Island Restoration Project. The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment oil spill global settlement reached in 2016 is the source of funds for this project.
The restoration project includes dredging 5.7 million cubic yards of material in order to restore the barrier shoreline through beach, dune, and marsh fill placement. The restoration project is located northeast of Venice, La. It will utilize an offshore sand source located just a few miles away in the Gulf of Mexico.
Callan Marine will deploy the General MacArthur, its new 32-inch cutter suction dredge, to complete this work. At 290 feet in length and a 9-foot draft, the General MacArthur boasts 24,000 total installed horsepower. Powered by three Cat-MAK diesel engines, the dredge has a fuel capacity of over 300,000 gallons, giving the it the ability to perform work on all U.S. coasts and waterways, as well as globally.
The estimated completion for this restoration project is spring of 2021
Breton National Wildlife Refuge provides breeding habitat for both colonies of nesting wading birds and seabirds, as well as a wintering habitat for shorebirds and waterfowl. Twenty-three species of seabirds and shorebirds frequent the refuge. Additionally, 13 species, including brown pelicans, use these islands for nesting purposes.
The reserve, established in 1904, is the second oldest refuge in the National Wildlife Refuge System. It was founded by President Theodore Roosevelt to serve as a refuge and breeding ground for waterfowl birds and other wildlife species. Roosevelt visited the islands in June of 1915; this is the only refuge that the “Conservation President” ever visited. The Breton Island Reservation name was changed to the Breton National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in 1938.