USA — Guard’s Shoreline Barrier Construction Progresses

VENICE, La., May 20, 2010 — The Louisiana Nation­al Guard’s con­struc­tion of the Tiger Dam shore­line pro­tec­tion sys­tem near in the south­west pass of the Mis­sis­sip­pi Riv­er Delta con­tin­ues to move ahead as an oil spill threat­ens the Gulf Coast.

Louisiana Guard is building a barrier to prevent an oil spill from reaching the wetlands
Army Pfc. Roy P. Blake of the Louisiana Nation­al Guard places tub­ing for a shore­line pro­tec­tion sys­tem in the south­west pass of the Mis­sis­sip­pi Riv­er delta near Venice, La., May 18, 2010. The Louisiana Guard is build­ing a bar­ri­er to pre­vent an oil spill from reach­ing the wet­lands.
U.S. Army pho­to by Pfc. Tarell J. Bil­bo
Click to enlarge

“Our engi­neers con­tin­ue to work to com­plete this project to pro­tect coastal areas and pro­vide a lay­ered defense to lessen the impact of shore­line oil­ing,” said Army 1st. Lt. Rebekah L. Ander­sen, pla­toon leader with the 1023rd Ver­ti­cal Engi­neer Com­pa­ny, 528th Engi­neer Bat­tal­ion.

The 1023rd, with head­quar­ters in Oak Grove, La., has built near­ly two miles of the 7.1‑mile bar­ri­er to pro­tect the nat­ur­al marsh­lands across a beach in the south­west pass as a sec­ondary line of defense to the boom line.

The work site’s loca­tion requires sol­diers to be air­lift­ed in and out dai­ly by UH-60 Black Hawk heli­copters from the 1st Bat­tal­ion of the 244th Avi­a­tion Reg­i­ment, based in Ham­mond, La.

All of the inflat­able bar­ri­er mate­r­i­al and equip­ment was sling-loaded and dropped in place.

“By being out here day to day and see­ing the sand washed up against the dam, we can tell it’s work­ing,” said Army Spc. Ben­jamin K. Davis.

This water diver­sion sys­tem, nor­mal­ly used for flood con­trol, replaces sand­bags and is made up of a series of inter­lock­ing flex­i­ble tubes inflat­ed with water to form a tem­po­rary dam or lev­ee.

As work crews lay out the Tiger Dam mate­r­i­al for assem­bly and infla­tion, oth­er crews work pumps to fill the tubu­lar sec­tions with water.

“We just want every­one to know that we’re here to do our mis­sion, and we will do it as effec­tive­ly as pos­si­ble,” Ander­sen said. “We know that the com­mu­ni­ty is in sup­port of our activ­i­ties over­seas, but it seems a bit more per­son­al when they see us work­ing state­side.”

From a Louisiana Nation­al Guard News Release