The installation of destructive man-made barriers has fragmented coastal Louisiana and contributed to the loss of its natural wetlands and diverse ecosystems. Highway 82, which runs east/west across southern Louisiana, is a superlative example of such unforgiving infrastructural acts.
This constructed levee divides the fluid movement of fresh water from north to south, and has resulted in high concentrations of salinity and unhealthy marshes across the coast. In attempt to restore balance to this now compromised territory, phase 1 of this intervention disperses saline tolerant plants, Spartina Patens.
Notable for their soil stabilization capabilities, Spartina Patens will be planted throughout the brown marsh. As the Spartina Patens’ culms bloom they will cover the coast with their delicate purple flowers signifying reclamation of land.
To uncover the once natural process of water movement, the second phase calls for the boring through and thus increased porosity of the monolithic Highway 82. This once again permits the exchange of fresh to salt water. Through these two simple acts, the health of Louisiana’s landscape becomes recovered.
This design was submitted to the 2009 IFLA Student Competition and was presented to the head of the Army Corps of Engineers and the USGS for Louisiana in a continuing effort to implement this strategy in coastal regions.
Location: New Orleans, LA, US
My Role: Project Designer