Big Island Mining Project
Created with dredge spoils from the Atchafalaya River navigational channel, Big Island lies to the west of the mouth of the Atchafalaya River in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. The location of the island has slowed the natural process of river delta formation and creation into new wetland habitats along the western side of the river's main channel. This project was designed in conjunction with the Atchafalaya Sediment Delivery project and included creating new delta lobes and an improved distributary channel system behind Big Island to enhance the accretion of land beyond the west bank of the Atchafalaya River. One main and five branch channels, the latter dredged at 45-degree angles to the main stem, mimic natural delta formation. Approximately 39,000 linear feet, or over 3 million cubic yards, of dredged material were utilized to create five delta lobes totaling 916 acres of marshlands. An additional 1200 acres are expected to accrete over the 20 year monitoring life of this project. The construction phase of this project was completed in October 1998.