President Mike Cooper Announces Dredging of Pearl River Navigational Canal

Parish President Mike Cooper is proud to announce St. Tammany Parish Government will dredge the Pearl River Navigational Canal near the West Pearl River, following permitting approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Today marks a long overdue and fantastic day for our boaters, fisherman and hunters on the beautiful West Pearl River,” said President Cooper. “For years, our citizens had limited access to the West Pearl River from Lock #1 due to the buildup of sediment along the canal. I want to thank our consultants who helped us gain the permits, our staff, Team Tammany, who helped push the project forward, and our Parish Council and all stakeholders who helped advance this critical project.”

The Department of Public Works started clearing the canal to provide temporary relief to the mouth of the Pearl River Navigational Canal. Contractors are finalizing plans to begin the long term $2.2 million project, which includes dredging and stabilization of the banks to limit the buildup of sediment. This initiative not only opens up access to the West Pearl River, but also makes it safer for our boaters.

“I want to thank St. Tammany Parish Government for its work in getting approval for this section of the Pearl River Canal to be dredged,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “Our Marine Unit has been limited to utilizing only small flat boats due to the shallow waters in that portion of the river. The sometimes-extreme shallowness of that area often leaves less than a foot of water, requiring our boat operators to run on plane while navigating dangerously close under low lying trees and branches when responding to search and rescue missions on that part of the West Pearl River. Having that area dredged will allow the Sheriff’s Office to have more resources available to respond to those citizens who are in need and in a much faster manner.”

In the coming weeks, boaters will also be able to launch from the North Lock #1 boat launch thanks to funding from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA). The effort is part of St. Tammany Parish’s 16 ongoing GOMESA projects which will provide recreational opportunities, coastal protection and increased resiliency for our Parish’s coastline.

“This project was started by my husband several years ago with a study on how to clear the Pearl River,” said Councilwoman Cheryl Tanner. “I appreciate everything that President Cooper’s staff has done for this project. This is a great day!”

For photos and video of the dredging, please click here.


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