The parish received a grant worth $77,800 from the State of Louisiana Local Government Assistance Program to construct the 40 x 16 ft. covered pier and a connecting walkway to the parking area. The new recreational pier will complement existing facilities at the site which include a boat dock, multi-purpose building, and bicycle/pedestrian bridge. The 40 Arpent Wetlands Observatory was made possible by a land lease from the Meraux Foundation and construction funding provided by a $1.25 million federal Tourism Recovery Grant in 2015.
The pier is the second recreational fishing pier the Parish has recently constructed. There is also future plans for recreational piers at Shell Beach and Hopedale that are part of the Parish’s RESTORE Plan for long term environmental restoration and enhancement. “This fishing pier will enhance the Observatory and improve the quality of life for the residents of St. Bernard Parish,” said Parish President Guy McInnis.
In addition, The St. Bernard Parish Bikeway and Pedestrian Plan calls for construction of a multi-purpose trail, known as the 40 Arpent Trail, adjacent to the observatory and the new fishing pier. Planning and engineering for that trail is underway with a $450,000 contract with Meyer Engineering to design the new facility. Design work is expected to be completed over the next 6 months. The future trail will extend from Arabi to Violet and will be available for walkers, joggers, skaters, bicyclists, and other non-motorized transportation users.