FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday February 28, 2023
Contact: Paul Christiansen
The Grand Isle Port Commission is pleased to announce that the dredging of Bayou Rigaud has commenced. This dredging project last occurred in 2010 and is critical to the overall commerce of the Grand Isle Port and the Town of Grand Isle.
Bayou Rigaud is designated as a Federal Navigation Channel with a navigable depth of 14 feet. This navigable channel services shallow water gulf and commercial fishing vessels each day. The total economic value of these vessels to the Town of Grand Isle and Jefferson Parish is approximately $120 million annually.
Grand Isle has one of the highest tonnages of any shallow water port in the State of Louisiana. Most of the petroleum-related support docks are located on the northeast side of the island and include Cox Energy, Fieldwood Energy, A-Port and Grand Isle Shipyard. The federal navigation channel also provides critical navigation to local seafood vessels, including Dean Blanchard Seafood and the Grand Isle Port Commission Commercial Docks.
In the past, the Grand Isle Port Commission has successfully lobbied for and secured millions in funding for numerous dredging projects including multiple dredge projects in the Barataria Bay Waterway, which is designated as a Federal Navigation Channel. The Port recognizes the critical need for coastal land protection and rebuilding; thus, this dredging project is utilizing the dredge spoils beneficially for the rebuilding of Fifi Island, a natural wildlife habitat.
“Today is a proud day for the Grand Isle Port Commission, the Town of Grand Isle, the local community and the key stakeholders that utilize this Federal Navigation Channel. This dredging project has finally come to fruition after several years of lobbying and gathering support of local stakeholders, parish, state and federal political representatives and most importantly the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE),” said Grand Isle Port Commission Executive Director Weldon Danos. “We would like to thank the USACE who has worked alongside the Port Commission to ensure that we could get the necessary federal funding for this important dredging project.”