How the activity went
This is just another view of spoil piles, at higher water, still using the emery boards, but from a single person's use, with little to zero time.
note the difference in tree species on the left vs right, the location of the yellow markers in the hill above the water, and the floating aquatic veg in the right side of the picture.
Because ETP built in a previous right of way, which was out of compliance, it buried the pipeline high in a hill in the swamp. This precludes future restoration of the swamp, and converts swamp to hardwood forest, and causes a decline in water flow and thus water quality (oxygen).
We'd like to measure the height of the hill, in relation to the gauge at Bayou Sorrel (~7ft).
The floating aquatics indicate that the spoil pile is very shallow, and we couldn't navigate our small boat into position in that location of solid green in the photo. Here's how it looked by the boat.
Note the cracked surface, indicating recently mixed and compressed clays from construction activity. this is basically now a road in the swamp, and blocks water flow through the soil.
We wanted a measure down to the cracked surface. So we stuck the Emery board off the side of the boat, like a bathymeter, reading 102.1, or 47.9 cm below 7' at Bayou Sorrel.
Issues I encountered
I had no time and no second person to assist with the measurement, as the mission was related to follow up on a report of an oil leak, and not primarily focused on the elevation changes from pipeline construction.
there were still parts of the spoil bank above the water line
How could this be improved?
But perhaps this method could provide a simpler way to measure the hill from above, if carefully planned and locations marked with a GPS?
Let's work to preserve the vanishing swamps we have left