Caernarvon Freshwater Diversion Project
The project diverts fresh water, nutrients and sediments from the Mississippi River to coastal bays and marshes in Breton Sound for fish and wildlife enhancement. Benefits include restoration of former ecological conditions by controlling salinity and supplementing nutrients and sediments. A total of 16,000 acres of marshland will be preserved and 77,000 acres of marshes and bays will be benefited by the project.
The diversion takes place under regulated conditions developed from monitoring the impact on the environment and the fish and wildlife. The project benefits existing commercial fisheries by enhancing marsh conditions, and improving the fish and wildlife resources of the area. Analysis of monitoring data by Louisiana State University scientists has indicated that nutrients, especially nitrogen, are removed by the marsh prior to reaching the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, the high population of oysters generated since operation began facilitates removal of nutrients and algae and promotes water clarity.