Science and Environment
Wed July 2, 2014
Coastal Restoration Drives An Industry Boom
Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 4:00 pm
This spring a state committee approved $477 million for coastal protection and restoration. When you throw in federal dollars, and private funding as well, fixing Louisiana's coast is becoming big business.
Engineers Road in Belle Chase has been a one-stop corridor for offshore drilling needs. From rig construction, to helicopters to fly out to the Gulf, even food service. Marsh Buggies Inc. has been on the boulevard since the 1960s. It makes amphibious construction gear, originally created to help oil companies explore hard-to-reach coastal places.
At the Marsh Buggies warehouse, a crew of welders build a pair of steel pontoons lined with aluminum cleats. Great for moving construction equipment into the mud and water of wetland areas. Marsh Buggies sends these mobile construction devices to oil fields in places like Nigeria and Suriname.
On the Gulf, most drilling has moved offshore. So the buggies here get used almost entirely for jobs like dredging mud and creating earthen levees.
Autin says now coastal restoration projects are developed around the capabilities of her company’s unique equipment. “We financially benefit from that. It puts our equipment to work, it keeps our people working. It keeps people employed its good job security for sure.”
Science & Environment