Cajuns for Bayou Teche will be cleaning the bayou at Port Barre Saturday
Port Barre – Cajuns for Bayou Teche is joining the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission, St. Landry Parish Government, St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office, St. Landry Parish Solid Waste, the Town of Port Barre, Port Barre Volunteer Fire Department, Port Barre Lions Club, Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries and Acadiana RC&D in a cooperative effort to clean up Bayou Teche on Saturday, May 8.
Volunteers with motorboats, kayaks and canoes are needed, but you don't have to have a boat to help.
St. Landry Parish Government will provide a grapple truck to move collected debris into containers provided by St. Landry Parish Solid Waste. Lunch will be provided by St. Landry Tourist Commission in the Port Barre Lion’s Club facility near the boat launch.
“St. Landry Parish Solid Waste is pleased to provide assistance to Cajuns for Bayou Teche, as they begin to address a long-standing problem for St. Landry Parish,” said inspector Velton Stelly.
"Over the years we have partnered with entities like the Parish Tourist Commission focusing most of our attention on litter removal along our roadways and educating the public on the impact littering has on our environment," Stelly said. " So we welcome the opportunity to join in helping to clean up an often overlooked resource we have here, our beautiful bayous.”
"The Town of Port Barre is proud to support the efforts of Cajuns for Bayou Teche and commends them for their enthusiasm and determination to see this wonderful resource that we have right in our community brought back to its grandeur” said Port Barre Mayor Gil Savoy. “I can remember as a young boy being able to launch from right here in Port Barre and being able to make it toward the Gulf and it can become a reality again today if we all do our part.”
Don LeBlanc, a long-standing member of the Port Barre Lions Club, Don LeBlanc, also voiced his support: “This is a problem that has needed to be corrected for some time. It is about quality of life for our residents and improvements will only lead to an increase in value of property located along Bayou Teche and Bayou Courtableau. We are happy to play a role in this project.”
“May 8th will be a great opportunity to begin the process of taking back one of our most valuable natural resources from years of neglect and abuse. And the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission looks forward to helping with that cause,” said Celeste Gomez, Commission Director. “With the Tour du Teche just months away, we have plenty of work to do, but with the help of those who realize the potential that the Teche has to offer, it will be a labor of love! As one of the most important waterways traveled by our ancestors who settled and lived along Bayou Teche, we will resurrect that spirit of determination and pride that once flowed here. So we encourage families to join us on Saturday to be a part of this effort from the beginning and share with our youth a wonderful story of preservation and revitalization.”
Tour du Teche is an ultra marathon for canoes and kakaks, set for Sept,. 17-19 and expected to be an annual event.
“We are excited so many residents and organizations have stepped forward to address this problem," said Blake Couvillion, founder of Cajuns for Bayou Teche and president of The TECHE Project. "St. Landry Tourist Commission has been instrumental in pulling Port Barre together for May 8th. We have litter, dumps, erosion problems and trees obstructing the bayou causing underwater sediment dams to build up. We’re going to get at these problems one at a time with the help of residents, private companies, municipalities, parish governments and state agencies. We’re all in this together and the clean-up in Port Barre is an exceptional example of how well we can work as a team!”
“Cajuns for Bayou Teche has been an important catalyst in inspiring communities along the Teche to see the bayou for the valuable cultural and environmental resources it is, said Kristen Kordecki, Bayou Teche watershed coordinator with Acadiana Resource Conservation & Development. "Blake Couvillion and Anya Burgess have helped set in motion activities that will bring towns together to protect water quality and celebrate the history of the bayou.”