Giving back: a guide for adaptive reuse of borrow sites in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard parish, Louisiana
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Giving back: a guide for adaptive reuse of borrow sites in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard parish, Louisiana

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  • Sea Grant Program:
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    A planning and design guide for the adaptive reuse of borrow sites in the Louisiana coastal wetlands. Presents in case-study format a process for identifying candidate borrow sites in the region for habitat restoration and use for fishing and outdoor education purposes. Borrow pit is a particularly curious term, not as colorful as others but curious in terms of the dictionary meaning of the two words: borrow and pit and to the application of the resulting term for describing the gaping, sometimes extensive holes in the earth’s surface that pock mark acres upon acres of our landscape. These borrow sites are where construction contractors or property owners mined gravel, clay, and other road building and construction materials to be transported by truck or other modes of conveyance to other locations for purposes of building up a site, laid as a base for roads, building foundations, or specialized infrastructure projects such as levee or dams. What is particularly curious about the word choice “borrow” in the term borrow site or borrow pit is the dichotomy between intent of the action (the taking of material) and the dictionary meaning of the word. The objective of this report is to accomplish several goals: * Serve as a model process for identifying the potential of existing borrow sites located in parishes surrounding Metropolitan New Orleans, and understand their potential for being transformed to meet the urban fishing, recreation, and educational needs of surrounding communities. * Demonstrate the potential of one of these sites for being restored so as to improve wildlife habitat and increase bio-​diversity at the same time be improved for recreational fishing, nature study, and some outdoor recreation uses such as trails, picnicking, and bird watching. There is also the potential that efforts could contribute to improved water quality as well as improve the visual character so as to become a better neighbor to communities adjoining the abandoned or idle borrow sites. * Suggest guidelines that could be used in the future to guide mining operations in the close out phase that would leave a site in a more favorable condition to facilitate later recreation and other uses or environmental g​oals. A further objective of this report is to stimulate interest in conducting a more comprehensive and detailed effort such as a Guide to Borrow Site Planning for Realizing Public Benefits and Environmental Enhancement. This is the larger ambition of this report.
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