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Bayou Teche Mourns the Loss of Two of Their Own

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Jillian Johnson helped define the ethos of Lafayette and Acadiana. Through her talent and her spirit, she transformed the way many of us see our communities. She helped the TECHE Project in it’s infancy and continued to be a good friend to the organization and the Council. She graciously designed our logos that you see here. We always loved them and now we love them even more because a piece of her lives on in them. Her life touched so many of ours and we are grateful we were the recipients of her talents, generosity and friendship. Our hearts are with her husband, daughter and brother, all of who are part of the fabric of this community Jillian helped blossom. Our prayers are with the people she loved and who loved her back.

Mayci Breaux — who has a 3.8 GPA at LSU, according to her proud mom — made it a point to study hard, but always found time every weekend to visit her family in Franklin, Louisiana. The 21-year-old Louisiana woman  had big plans to graduate college and marry her high school sweetheart before her life was tragically cut short, her devastated family said.

#PrayersForLafayette #AcadianaStrong

Paddle Trail Mile Marker Signs Are Going Up!!

IMG_1265 A special thanks goes to our partners, The Teche Vermilion Freshwater District, and especially Mr. Donald Sagrera (pictured right) for sponsoring the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail Mile Marker Signs!  These beautiful signs will be showing up on the bayou at key locations and on our wood duck program boxes soon.  For more information on the Wood Duck Box Mile Marker Program, go to our Ecology Tab and look for Wood Duck Program.

 

TECHE Project Awarded Healthy Communities Grant for Bayou Teche Watershed.

Bayou Teche, La – Keep Louisiana Beautiful, the State’s premier anti-litter and community improvement organization selected the Teche Ecology Culture and History Education (TECHE) Project as a recipient of this year Healthy Communities Grant.

This year’s grant, in the amount of $10,000, will support the TECHE Project in an initiative to educate and engage the community by placing high-quality signs on bridges and access points along the Bayou Teche to remind visitors and residents to reduce the amount of litter and non-point source pollution in the Bayou Teche.  Litter thrown along roadways as well as lawn debris, pesticides and fertilizers find their way into the Teche and reduce its water quality.  The grant funds will be used to design and install high quality signs at 4 bridge locations including Arnaudville, Breaux Bridge, St. Martinville and Franklin and several access points along the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail.

Bayou Teche is a 135 mile long bayou that runs through 4 parishes; St. Landry, St. Martin, Iberia and St. Mary.  In January 2015, the bayou was included in the U.S. Department of Interior National Water System. The TECHE Project manages the water trail which is nestled in the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area.

We believe this grant will enable us to continue help us engage our communities to protect our most beautiful and historic Bayou in Louisiana,” said TECHE Project Bayou Operations Coordinator Dane Thibodeaux. “We are proud to become part of the Keep Louisiana Beautiful team and we thank them for selecting us for the Healthy Communities Grant.”

To emphasize their message, the TECHE Project has partnered with Leave No Trace, a national recreation and land ethics organization whose mission is to protect the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly.  “We join the TECHE Project in their efforts to create a low-impact recreation experience on the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail that embraces responsible paddling and camping,” says Dave Winter, Strategic Partnerships and Outreach Manager at Leave No Trace.

The TECHE Project will collaborate with municipalities and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to install signs.  Implementation will be completed by October 8 in advance of the week-long Subaru/Leave No Trace workshop hosted by the TECHE Project.

About TECHE Project

The Teche Ecology, Culture and History Education Project has served the Bayou Teche communities in St. Landry, St. Martin, Iberia and St. Mary Parishes since 2009. We are passionate about making Bayou Teche a healthier waterway for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, tubing and even swimming.  Along with aesthetics and recreation, we advocate for improved water quality in the Bayou Teche by working with our communities to reduce non-point source pollution.

About Keep Louisiana Beautiful

Keep Louisiana Beautiful, Inc. is the state’s anti-litter and community improvement organization focused on education, enforcement, awareness and cleanups.  Affiliated with Keep America Beautiful, Keep Louisiana Beautiful’s mission is to promote personal, corporate and community responsibility for a clean and beautiful Louisiana.  With a network of 39 affiliates in communities throughout the state, over 23,000 volunteers work toward a clean and beautiful Louisiana.

TECHE Project Encourages Paddling Despite Low Water Levels in Bayou Teche.

(Bayou Teche, La) Many residents and visitors may notice a drop in water levels in the Bayou Teche in the coming days, but no need for concern. According to Cecil Knott, Supervisor of the Teche-Vermillion Pumping Station in Krotz Springs, La, “The Army Corps of Engineers has the Teche-Vermillion Pumping Station stop pumping to lower the elevation in Bayou Courtableau (which feeds Bayou Teche) in order to work on the Darbonne Control Structure.”

The Teche-Vermilion Freshwater District Board of Commissioners was created as a unique joint cooperative agreement of the federal, state, and local governments.  The historical flow of water from the Atchafalaya River via Bayou Courtableau to the Bayou Teche and Vermilion River basins was cut off by protection levees built after the flood of 1927.

Knott said, “The work should be complete in a few days and pumping will resume as soon as their work is complete.”

Paddling the newest National Water Trail is a great way to experience your own back yard. The Bayou Teche Paddle Trail offers paddles as short as one hour to a three-day journey down its 135 miles, with 13 access points, paddling downstream or up-steam for you fitness buffs, is just a short drive away.

Bayou Operations Coordinator, Dane Thibodeaux advises to “go out and enjoy the bayou, but to be aware of logs or other debris that may be present now due to the lower water levels.”

If you would like to learn more about the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail please visit their website at www.techeproject.org To report litter or debris on the Bayou Teche, please contact Dane Thibodeaux at techeproject@gmail.com

International Award and Library of Congress for Louisiana Geological Survey Map of Bayou Teche Paddle Trail

(Bayou Teche, La.)The Bayou Teche Paddle Trail and Cultural and Historical Map has been awarded the Best of Category in the Recreational/Travel Map Category in this years Cartography and Geographic Information Society Map Design Competition held at Montgomery College, Rockville, Maryland, this Spring. Notifications were recently sent out.  The Louisiana Geological Survey worked with the TECHE Project, a non-profit organization which manages the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail, a US Department of Interior National Water Trail. The map is a 12×30 inch, color, waterproof map with one side depicting the paddle trail and the opposite side focused on the significant cultural and historical aspects of Bayou Teche.  ”This is a great accomplishment! The judges felt your piece was well-designed and displayed very interesting information in a compelling manner.” said Ian Muehlenhaus, CaGIS Map Competition Coordinator. Cartographer Lisa Pond and GIS Specialist Robert Paulsell are the award recipients. As a result, the map will be entered into Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

“Louisianians are passionate about outdoor recreation. The state’s beautiful landscapes, warm climate and unique ecosystem create a perfect environment for enjoying the great outdoors,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. “I commend Louisiana Geological Survey’s commitment to making Bayou Teche more accessible to locals and visitors. Congratulations on this prestigious award.”

Bayou Teche is a 135 mile long bayou that runs through 4 parishes; St. Landry, St. Martin, Iberia and St. Mary.  In January 2015, it was included in the U.S. Department of Interior National Water System. The TECHE Project manages the water trail which is nestled in the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area.  “This award showcases the qualities that make Bayou Teche Paddle Trail such an asset to the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area: history, culture and excellence in outdoor recreation, and recognizes the efforts of dedicated volunteers and the value of partnerships.” says Atchafalaya National Heritage Area Director, Debra Credeur.

The TECHE Project was the recipient of the National Park Service Recreation, Trails and Conservation Assistance program and has since been included in the U.S. Department of Interior National Water Trail System. During this time, the TECHE Project worked with citizens, paddlers, local businesses, parish tourism commissioners, the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana and the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area to gather information for the map.  The historical and cultural annotations on the map were provided by Dr. Shane K. Bernard, author of the forthcoming book Teche: A History of Louisiana’s Most Famous Bayou. “The Louisiana Geological Survey was great to work with,” says project co-manager and TECHE Project council member Dane Thibodeaux. “We have over 250 years of information to include along 135 miles of bayou. Ms. Pond and Mr. Paulsell did an exceptional job putting the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail on the map and we are proud to share it with the public whether they are paddling the bayou or visiting one of our tourism offices.”

The Bayou Teche Paddle Trail is part of a growing trend in low-impact, nature-based recreation in the state including bicycling, trail-running, hiking and kayaking. “As we move forward to build a low-impact, culture and nature based recreation economy in Acadiana, we are pleased to make an award-winning map part of the suite of tools and products for users, planners, local businesses, and tourism professionals”, says TECHE Project Executive Director, Conni Castille. 

Maps can be found at Cajun Paddle in Breaux Bridge, Pack & Paddle in Lafayette, Le Vieux Village Tourist Information Center in Opelousas, Iberia Chamber of Commerce in New Iberia and at http://techeproject.org/bayou-teche-paddle-trail/map/. Visit Louisiana Geological Survey on-line map repository at http://www.lgs.lsu.edu/

 

Feast of the Assumptipn – Eucharistic Procession Along the Bayou Teche (Saturday, August 15th)

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The day will begin with the Mass of the Assumption at St. Leo the Great Church in Leonville celebrated by Bishop Glen Provost, D.D. of the Diocese of Lake Charles. After Mass,the Blessed Sacrament with a special monstrance built for the occasion (measuring 68″) will proceed to the Leonville boat landing and embark from Leonville in a boat procession down the Teche toward St. Martinville. The Blessed Sacrament will be fixed on an altar on the lead boat under canopy with a pair of adorers in adoration between the towns visited. The procession will stop at Catholic Churches along the way for recitation of the Rosary and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament for those gathered at Arnaudville, Cecilia, Breaux Bridge, and Parks. The boat procession will end at the Evangeline Oak in St. Martinville around 4:45pm. At that time, a Benediction will take place at St. Martin de Tours. The procession will continue to Mater Dolorosa down main street for the celebration of Solemn Vespers of the Assumption and Final Benediction at 6:00 PM. The Diocese is hoping to gather several hundred Catholics at each of the stops along the way as well as at the beginning at Leonville and at the final destination in St. Martinville. The goal is also to register up to 100 boats in procession. Each parish might register a boat and have a banner or decorate the boat identifying the parish. Also, councils of the Knights of Columbus, Cursillo groups, religious communities, families, etc. might get together and register a boat. To do so, simply send an email to fetedieuduteche@gmail.com and a registration packet will be emailed to you. People living along the bayou are also encouraged to gather on the bayou bank and greet the Blessed Sacrament as it passes by.

First Bankline Workshop Scheduled for June 6, 2015

The TECHE Project and the Bayou Vermilion District will be hosting a the first Bankline Management Workshop at the newly renovated Breaux Bridge Library from 9:00 am to Noon on Saturday, June 6, 2015. If you’re interested in learning different techniques to alleviate shoreline erosion, including vegetation that both helps with erosion and improves water quality, or if you are having issues with nuisance wildlife and want to learn more on how to alleviate that situation, then this workshop is for you.

The workshop starts with a discussion of erosion issues and different techniques available to combat that problem by TECHE Project Council Member and wetland ecologist Patti Holland and Bayou Vermilion District ecological educator Greg Guidroz. Additionally, guest speaker and naturalist, Bill Fontenot (formerly with the Lafayette Nature Station) will share his knowledge of native vegetation that can be used to alleviate erosion, improve water quality, provide aesthetic value, and in some cases attract desirable wildlife. The workshop will close with a discussion of preventative measures available to control nuisance wildlife.

Bayou Teche and Bayou Vermilion property owners are the target audience, but anyone with waterfront property will benefit from this workshop. There will be wetland plants available courtesy of the Bayou Vermilion District and Trees Acadiana. The workshop is free, but donations and memberships to TECHE Project non-profit organization are always welcome.

Trash Bash Postponed

We at the TECHE Project are very sorry to announce that our Spring Trash Bash and Boogie scheduled for this Saturday in New Iberia City Park has been postponed until an undetermined date due to extremely high water levels in the Bayou Teche. We have come to this decision with the safety of our volunteers in mind. We appreciate all of your support and we hope to see you back on the Bayou real soon!

April 18th Bayou Clean Up, City Park in New Iberia

LCG_PFY_LogowithTagThe next bayou clean up “Trash Bash and Boogie” is scheduled on April 18th, 2015 at City Park in New Iberia in conjunction with Project Front Yard-Iberia Parish parish wide clean up day. We are Partnering with the Iberia ON TAP Association to make this fun for all and for a good purpose.

TECHE Project Volunteer of the Year – Clayus Thibodeaux

TECHE Project Volunteer of the Year – Clayus Thibodeaux

photo (4)Thank you Clayus for all of your hard work over the last year.  From providing boat taxi service, to driving heavy machinery, to constructing the floating barge, you have always been there with a smiling face and a great attitude.  Thanks for your dedication to the TECHE Project!