Bellingham Marine Teams up with other Washington State Companies to Find a Solution to Stop Erosion of Louisiana’s Shorelines

This innovative shoreline erosion product has a negative buoyancy

This innovative modular wall system is proving to be a strong contender in the fight to stop the rapid erosion of Louisiana’s marsh lands.

As you may be aware, Louisiana’s coastal landscape is washing away at an alarming rate; more than a football field is lost every hour to the Gulf. Home to half of the country’s oil refineries, miles of pipelines that serve 90% of the Nation’s offshore energy production and 30% of the Nation’s total oil and gas supply – the landscape on which all this is built is washing away.

Although there are numerous forces that have led to the catastrophic level of destruction of Louisiana’s shorelines, a major force at play is wave action. Desperate to slow the rate of land loss, in 1997, Louisiana’s Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Service (DNRCS) started a research program focused on the development of a retaining wall type system that would stop the rapid loss of Louisiana’s marsh lands.

Numerous systems were developed, studied, and tried by Louisiana’s DNRCS between 1997 and 2012 but none were found to be a viable solution. In 2012, a team from Washington State submitted a concept for a buoyancy compensated erosion control module. The modules were installed along a 500’ section of wetland along with several other systems being tested.

Just six months into the test study, and the system is performing better than hoped.   We are excited about the potential of this innovative new product which is helping to save Louisiana’s coastal areas and other vulnerable wetlands. The rate of erosion at the ends of the wall to approximately a foot (verses the unprotected test site, which showed an average loss of 138’ in 6 months) but at the middle of the wall more than 10’ of regrowth was measured.

Bellingham Marine is part of the team responsible for the development and manufacture of the Buoyancy Compensated Erosion Control Modules. Although there is huge potential for the use of this erosion control system in and around the Gulf region there are many other low lying areas that are just as vulnerable to shoreline erosion.

We are excited about the potential of this innovative new product to help save Louisiana’s coastal areas and other vulnerable wetlands. If you, or one of your peers deals with issues related to erosion of low lying coastal lands the Buoyancy Compensated Erosion Control Module may be an option worth looking into. If you would like more information please email us at bmi@bellingham-marine.com

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