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Wetlands

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 109–121 | Cite as

Environmental conditions of a backfilled pipeline canal four years after construction

  • Robert K. Abernethy
  • James G. Gosselink
Article

Abstract

We studied the environmental conditions along 56 km of a backfilled pipeline canal four years after construction was completed. The canal traverses fresh, intermediate, brackish, and saline marshes in southeastern Louisiana. Over one-third of the sampling sections in the fresh intermediate marsh regained more than 60% vegetation cover; mean canal depth was 44 cm, and submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) covered 59% of the bottom. The brackish marsh sections revegetated only where the canal passed through the mineral soils of the Bayou Lafourche natural levee; mean canal depth was 67 cm, and SAV covered 23% of the bottom. The salt marsh revegetated poorly; the area remained 80% open water, as it was before canal construction. Mean canal depth was 59 cm, and SAV covered 10% of the bottom. Backfilling did not return the marsh to its original condition, but the shallow ponds that formed along the canal resemble natural ponds in depth and vegetation.

Key words

Coastal marsh backfilling canals dredging revegetation 

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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert K. Abernethy
    • 1
  • James G. Gosselink
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Coastal ManagementNorth Carolina Department of Natural ResourcesElizabeth City
  2. 2.Coastal Ecology Institute Center for Wetland ResourcesLouisiana State UniversityBaton Rouge

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