Rabbit Island Restoration Project
State of Louisiana
DWH Project Funding
Known Leveraged Funding
Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (NRDA)
Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA
The marshes of Cameron Parish are home to a limited number of bird rookeries. Rabbit Island is important to a number of colonial nesting bird species, including brown pelicans and reddish egrets. Rabbit Island is the westernmost nesting ground for brown pelicans in Louisiana. The island is centrally located along the Chenier Plain, about one mile from the southwestern shore of Calcasieu Lake and two miles west of the Calcasieu ship channel. Wind-generated waves in the shallow estuary, coupled with periodic high tides that are amplified by the ship channel, have slowly eroded Rabbit Island. Since 1955, the island has lost 89 acres of landmass, or 35% of its area. Today, Rabbit Island’s total area is 200 acres, with much of that being open water, and the majority of the land at or below sea level. This project proposes to utilize dredged sediment from the Calcasieu Ship Channel or other suitable source to restore the elevation of the island on its current footprint of approximately 200 acres. The restored island’s increased elevation will increase the abundance and quality of nesting habitat for a number of colonial nesting waterbirds including brown pelicans, wading birds, terns, and other colonial nesting water birds.