Field Trip to Davis Pond (April 3)

We traveled to the West bank to visit the Davis Pond Freshwater Diversion Project. This project is designed to divert up to 10,000 cfs of water from the Mississippi south into the upper reaches of the Barataria Basin. The objective is to reduce land loss by decreasing salinity in the upper part of the basin and by restoring a "natural" salinity regime. The project, along with a similar one at Carnaervon in St. Bernard Parish, is designed to mimic natural water diversion from the Mississippi. The Davis Pond project is scheduled to come on-line in July or August of 2001.

 

We began our visit with a presentation by Jack Fredine and Bruce Baird of the U.S.A.C.E. They reviewed the need for freshwater diversion and outlined the project, its goals, costs, and the challenges associated with trying to open up the Mississippi and divert water into the upper end of the Barataria Basin.

The Davis Pond project is not yet complete. Here we see the intake "culverts" with their wing walls looking from the river to the south. The project entailed creating a temporary retaining area along the river and the excavation of the intake facility as well as a canal from the river into Davis Pond (which flows into Lake Cataouche). The project also required the breaching of the main line levee of the Mississippi, rebuilding two road bridges as well as railroad lines, all while not disrupting traffic on the river, the road, or the rails.

A view from the edge of the Davis Pond project area upriver towards the Hale Boggs bridge.

jack Fredine, project manager (in red) and Bruce Baird (in hat) show students the intake facility. Tillman hardy (left) and Melanie Kane look on.

Katy Medlin (far left), Scott Wall, Aurora Luscher (center in yellow), Liz Davey, and Mikaela Howie listen to Jack's discussion of project costs.

Looking downstream to a grain loading facility near the project area.

Tillman Hardy and Mike Murin (on right).

A loaded bulk carrier vessel heads downriver.

To build the Davis Pond facility the Corps of Engineers had to breach the main line Mississippi River levee. here we see the levee being rebuilt just downstream from the intake area.

Noah Marble (in black), Richard Reichbach, and Michelle Oddo (in red). Scott Wall looks on in the background.

We left the river to view the diversion canal that carries water south from the intake into Davis Pond and Lake Cataouache. This is the view from the highway 90 bridge looking south.

Looking north from the Highway 90 bridge towards the river and the intake facility. The Highway 90 bridge and all the others in this picture, along with pipelines had to be replaced to accommodate the outflow canal.

Jack Fredine discusses the Davis Pond project.

Dredges working to widen and deepen the outflow canal. View looking south from Highway 90 bridge.