The South Fork Mitigation Project is a sustainable wetlands restoration solution to replace approximately 763 acres or poor-to-medium quality wetlands impacted by Sasol's project in Southwest Louisiana.
The mitigation area, which Sasol purchased, is situated along portions of the South Fork Black Bayou, which discharges into the headwaters of the Calcasieu Lake (Big Lake) Estuary. It consists of four parcels of land within Cameron and Calcasieu parishes.
Sasol will provide more than 1,939 acres of restored wetlands in the Lower Calcasieu Watershed to increase the quality and quantity of wetlands in the area. Wetland hydrology will be established and native trees, shrubs and grasses will be planted in the mitigation area.
Sasol's mitigation activities will restore the following habitats:
- 1,225 acres of bottomland hardwood forest wetlands
- 555 acres of high-quality coastal prairie wetlands
- 89 acres of high-quality tidal freshwater marsh wetlands
- 66 acres of non-wetland forest
- 5 acres of non-wetland coastal prairie areas
The mitigation area will be protected by conservation servitude, a legal agreement that prevents future development on the site, ensuring that it remains in its restored state. Additionally, Sasol will establish a trust to ensure that funding is available to cover anticipated costs associated with long-term maintenance and management of the South Fork Mitigation Project area.
The South Fork Mitigation Project's goal is to ensure that all fish and wildlife species in the impacted area, as well as ecosystem functions, are maintained at greater-than-existing levels, while creating greater diversity of habitat types that will benefit a larger variety of species.
The restoration, maintenance and protection of these varied habitat types will benefit native wildlife, nesting wildlife species, migrating birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and pollinating insects.