Shoreline Stabilization at Grand Isle and Fifi Island


The project at Grand Isle/Fifi Island 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 Grand Isle/Fifi Island site in Jefferson Parish, 1.25 miles of the self-sustaining intertidal reefs were installed along shoreline, protecting adjacent marsh. In the long-term, it is anticipated that additional marsh will be created on sediments accreted behind the reefs.

Objectives: Successful Habitat Restoration Environmental Benefits Cost Effectiveness / Economic Benefits

Technical Details

2.1 Acres of Oyster Reef/Shell Bottom Restored

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
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