Clay is used in a number of applications, including:

  • Levee and Earthen Dam Building and Repair
  • Aquaculture Pond Construction
  • Liners and Caps for Landfills
  • Many Construction and Stabilization Purposes

Additionally, clay can be used for the construction of roadways as the foundation of the roadway, as well as elevation change for subdivisions located in a flood zone.

Learn more about our clay

USACE

The United States Army Corp of Engineers sets standards for certifiable clay that may be used in USACE projects, which are the largest users of clay for levee and dam building.

Currently, the USACE has multiple projects in demand for clay from Houston to New Orleans and throughout Southern Louisiana. USACE requires that contractors provide the borrow material and must enter into contractual agreements with landowners to mine the clay. The term “borrow” is used in the fields of construction and engineering to describe material that is dug in one location for use at another location. The proposed contractor-furnished borrow areas could be used for construction of the Hurricane & Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS).

Louisiana Coastal Levees

The most recent peak in common clay production took place around the time massive projects were undertaken, particularly in Louisiana, for the reconstruction of levees and other projects related to hurricane damage in the state. The largest market is regional levee construction/repair that requires approximately 12 million tons of clay annually.

The CPRA is established as the single state entity with authority to articulate a clear statement of priorities and to focus development and implementation efforts to achieve comprehensive coastal protection for Louisiana. The CPRA projects include Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) activities, and the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) projects.

The CWPPRA is federal legislation enacted in 1990 that is designed to identify, prepare, and fund construction of coastal wetlands restoration projects. CWPPRA restoration projects use one or more techniques to repair delicate wetlands.

These techniques include:

  • Shoreline Protection
  • Hydrologic Restoration
  • Beneficial Use of Dredged Material
  • Terracing
  • Sediment Trapping
  • Vegetative Planting
  • Barrier Island Restoration

2017 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan

On June 2nd, 2017, Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast was passed, allocating $50 billion towards the restoration and protection of the coast.

The plan calls for approximately 120 projects that build or maintain over 800 square miles of land. $19 billion is to be allocated for structural protection, such as levees, that will reduce annual damage by $8.3 billion over the next 50 years.

This complex and fragile ecosystem is disappearing at an alarming rate. Between 1932 and 2010, Louisiana’s coast lost more than 1,800 square miles of land. From 2004 through 2008 alone, more than 300 square miles of marshland were lost to climate change, sea level rise, subsidence, hurricanes, storm surges.

The 2017 Coastal Master Plan sets an ambitious path to respond to the loss of our coastal land and the threats from storm surge events by enacting structural protection projects such as levees.