Shoreline Stabilization on Biloxi Marsh Utilizing Artificial Oyster Reef


The project in St. Bernard Parish is one of two implementation sites under the project “Utilization of Artificial Oyster Reef for Shoreline Stabilization on the Louisiana Coast,” funded through a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant. The overall project utilized artificial oyster reef for shoreline stabilization along the Louisiana coastline, created or retained a total of 101 jobs and invested project funds into the local economy. This project protected particularly vulnerable shorelines and adjacent marsh by building bio-engineered oyster reefs (ReefBLK™) that act as natural coastal buffers, absorbing wave energy, reducing erosion and trapping suspended sediment. This is the largest living shoreline project to date in Louisiana. At the St. Bernard Marsh sites, the self-sustaining intertidal reefs were installed along approximately 2.21 miles of shoreline in the Lake Fortuna and Lake Eloi area, protecting existing adjacent marsh. In the long-term, it is anticipated that additional marsh will be created on sediments accreted behind these reefs. As an expansion to this project, another half mile of shoreline was protected with another reef technology (OysterBreak™) at Lake Athanasio in June 2014, adjacent to the Lake Eloi site. Objectives: Successful Habitat Restoration Environmental Benefits Cost Effectiveness / Economic Benefits

Technical Details

3.7 Acres of Oyster Reef/Shell Bottom

Restored Species: Crassostrea virginica

Techniques: Education and Outreach, Oyster Reef Construction, Signage

Data Collected: water quality, nekton recruitment and use of reef structure, vegetation density and biomass, percent soil organic density and volume, shoreline slope, on-reef oyster recruitment, oyster surveys, reef mapping, shoreline position

TNC worked with Grand Isle School students to collect smooth cord grass seeds to grow in the Native Plant Nursery on school grounds.


Partners: Coastal Environments Incorporated, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Town of Grand Isle, Grand Isle Levee District, Grand Isle Port Commission, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, St. Bernard Parish Government, Jefferson Parish Government, United States Army Corps of Engineers, Private landowners


  • Amy Smith Kyle, LAFO, TNC
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.