'Cajuns' call for St. Pat's Day cleanup

Arnaudville – The original Cajun for Bayou Teche, Blake Couvillion, will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – and his own birthday – with a bayou cleanup this Saturday, March 17, 9 a.m. to noon.

Since their 2009 debut, Blake and his volunteer crews have cleared approximately 30 tons of debris and garbage from the Bayou Teche in St. Landry and St. Martin parishes.

“Bayou Teche is a special place in Acadiana and I wouldn’t want to spend my birthday anywhere else but out on that water,” Couvillion said.

“We want to improve water quality and restore bayou banks, but we need to continue to pull debris as we address restoration issues. It’s a task we are making a lot of progress on!”

Cajuns for Bayou Teche are also eying St. Mary and Iberia parishes. This spring, volunteers will attempt to mechanically remove mats of water hyacinth, an invasive aquatic plant species from South America. Water hyacinth, or lilies, hinder kayaking and canoeing. With the success of the Tour du Teche race and the soon-to-be National Park Service recognized paddle trail, removal of this invasive plant is essential.

“We want to stay in step with our values to protect water quality and give mechanical removal a try,” Couvillion said. 'It will be a big task, but we think trying this without using chemicals and herbicide is a good way to start. We hope we can work with a few agencies and parishes to try this out.”

Russell’s Food Center and Bayou Teche Brewing are sponsoring this cleanup.

“These supporters not only sponsor our projects, the owners can often be found cleaning up debris or testing water quality on the Teche. They’re the real deal!”

Bayou Teche Brewing will provide complimentary beer to participants (21 and over) after the clean up.

Cajuns for Bayou Teche is a program of the TECHE Project, a non-profit organization supporting programs about Bayou Teche.

Call (337) 230-8596 or e-mail blake_couvillion@yahoo.com for more information.

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The Teche Today

P.O. Box 69
St. Martinville, LA 70582
Phone: 337-394-6232
Fax: 337-394-7511

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