A first of its kind, technology-driven, adaptive approach to shoreline and habitat protection is successfully validated in the aftermath of Hurricane Zeta.
In the latest efforts of a long successful partnership, ConocoPhillips and Ducks Unlimited have implemented an innovative, technology-led, and nature-based approach to bolstering shoreline resilience in the communities of southern Lafourche Parish. Over the past eight years, ConocoPhillips and Ducks Unlimited have restored or enhanced over 800 acres immediately outside of the Larose to Golden Meadow Hurricane Protection System. This work provides shoreline protection, marsh enhancement, and terracing that increase the resilience of the levee system and the communities within. The goal of this particular project was to stabilize 750 feet of a newly completed marsh creation project. This area is exposed to increasing storm surges and weather events such as the set of storms hitting the Louisiana coast this year as well as erosion from day-to-day tidal action.
The project site presented numerous challenges including shallow water access, weak foundation soils, and the necessity to operate safely around established energy infrastructure. Natrx utilized its intelligent, adaptive infrastructure platform to create and install a set of custom reef modules nicknamed “Cajun Coral” by Louisiana-based Danos LLC, a key contractor on the project. "Danos is proud to have partnered on this innovative project to prevent erosion and strengthen our local wetlands. 'Cajun Coral' was born out of our team's desire to develop a name for the reef modules that reflected our local, South Louisiana culture," said Eric Danos, owner of Danos.
These modules were specifically designed to provide habitat-positive protection for the exposed segment of the site. Less exposed reaches were stabilized with a system of ultralight, hand-deployed oyster stakes which will develop into a robust oyster reef over time. This innovative approach creates a cost efficient, weather resilient, and habitat-friendly oyster reef shoreline protection system.
In the end, 180 feet of the custom-designed “Cajun Coral” was installed along with 620 feet of ultralight oyster stakes. Thanks to the partnership’s modular, intelligence-driven production, delivery, and installation approach the entire protection solution exceeded safety targets by deploying with zero safety incidents. Immediately after installation, the project’s innovative approach proved successful by performing perfectly during a direct hit by Hurricane Zeta. A post storm assessment revealed new oyster spat growing on both the Cajun Coral and the oyster stakes.
ConocoPhillips and Ducks Unlimited are proud of their partnership that demonstrates how the latest innovations can be harnessed to enhance efficiency, reduce cost, and improve performance through micro-tailored solutions. The continued success of this fruitful partnership is in large part due to the contributions of several like minded organizations including: Lafourche Parish, Natrx, ORA Estuaries, Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Danos LLC, MREC Environmental, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Natrix is the leader in delivering adaptive infrastructure solutions for the protection of at-risk capital assets through its patented digital manufacturing platform. The Natrx platform uses an intelligent, data-driven approach to create and deploy custom, flexible resilience solutions that adapt over time to provide superior, habitat-friendly protection against increasing weather and climate conditions. Established in 2018, Natrx has quickly established itself as an innovation leader, recognized for its technology breakthroughs and its track record of successful project delivery. For more information, visit: http://natrx.io
About Ducks Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved almost 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.
As the largest private owner of wetlands in Louisiana, ConocoPhillips views conservation as a key priority. ConocoPhillips’ history as a landowner in Louisiana dates back more than 100 years. Through its subsidiary, The Louisiana Land and Exploration Company LLC (LL&E), the company owns approximately 636,000 acres of predominantly marshland across eight parishes, spanning 120 miles east to west and 85 miles north to south.
Founded in 1947, Danos is a family-owned and managed oilfield service provider. A trusted industry partner, Danos offers the most responsive end-to-end integrated service solutions – safe, on time and on budget. Danos achieves world-class safety results and customer loyalty due to a values- based approach and an unyielding commitment to employee engagement and training. Learn more at danos.com.