For BHP’s Gulf of Mexico General Manager Kristen Ray, our partnership with the America’s Wetlands Foundation and Resource Environmental Solutions on the Terrebonne Biodiversity and Resilience Program holds special significance.
“I grew up in Louisiana and the preservation of our natural environment has always been top of mind for the communities there,” said Kirsten.
“Our involvement in this program is really a targeted way for our company to create value for our communities in Terrebonne Parish.”
The Terrebonne Parish, located on Louisiana’s coast, is home to a large expanse of marshes and hauntingly beautiful Cypress-Tupelo swamps where waterfowl, wading birds, and neotropical songbirds call home.
The multifaceted program seeks to conserve these precious habitats and deliver conservation outcomes to benefit people, wildlife, and natural ecosystems. The aim is to create lasting value for the Gulf of Mexico host community.
“I’m heartened by the fact that biodiversity and ecosystems for future generations is paramount in the way BHP thinks about the environment and sustainability,” said Kirsten.
“We’re very excited to be a lead sponsor of this project.”
Over six years, BHP will invest US$3,322,750 towards the:
- Restoration of the Pointe Aux Chenes State Wildlife Management Area
This historic cypress–tupelo swamp habitat will be rejuvenated through native plantings and the management of invasive species.
Supported by Resource Environmental Solutions and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, the revegetation includes the planting of 30,000 cypress trees (100 acres x 300 trees per acre), invasive species treatments, 153–168 tons of CO2 sequestration per year, water quality improvement, habitat enhancement, and flood protection.
- Restoration of Bayou Terrebonne
A protective marsh terrace will be created with marsh plants, bald cypress–tupelo trees, and invasive species control.
The result will deliver 25 acres and 11,871 linear feet of marsh terraces, 5,000 cypress trees and 35,000 marsh grass plugs, 165 tons of CO2 sequestration per year, water quality improvement, fisheries enhancement, erosion protection, and storm surge protection.
Resource Environmental Solutions, the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District, the Barataria – Terrebonne National Estuary Program and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium will support the work.
- Establishment of the Conservation & Biodiversity Register and Alliance
This online forum will collect and publicise publically and privately funded projects. It seeks to expand education and volunteer programs for formal and informal learning, and inspire new funding opportunities for the private sector to engage successfully in restoration solutions.
The Alliance will initially focus on projects in the Louisiana coastal zone, with BHP’s two restoration areas announced as the register’s first projects, before expanding its geographical footprint.