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Loreauville Newest Trail Town to Receive Floating Canoe/Kayak Dock

Photo credit: Tony Broussard

Loreauville, LA —

The Village of Loreauville is the latest Trail Town community to receive a floating kayak and canoe launch to increase access to the Bayou Teche National Water Trail. The dock is part of the TECHE Project’s community-driven vision to enhance the quality of life for trail communities by turning to the bayou and lower Atchafalaya River to build a nature-based economy.

“Coming to Loreauville by boat seems natural. It’s how our ancestors arrived here 250-years ago,” says Loreauville Mayor Brad Clifton. “We look forward to welcoming paddlers, both locals and visitors, to experience our hospitality and culture.”

The new dock sits at 118 Bridge Street, next to the historic jailhouse, and is the first phase of the Al Broussard Commemorative Park. In honor of the late Mayor Al Broussard, the stunning park design by Architect and Loreauville native Joel Breaux celebrates the journey of the founding Acadians and honors those who perished along the way. “The Al Broussard Commemorative Park features a symbolic representation of the Acadians, their journey and resilience,” describes Breaux. “It simultaneously includes key elements such as the Acadian Odyssey, one of only four in the world.”

“As part of our EXPLORE It program, locals and visitors learn about the ecology of a region through the biography of its people, by boat,” says Conni Castille, Executive Director of TECHE Project, the Water Trail Managers. “We partner with Trail Town communities turning to the bayou to integrate the Trailheads that support the National Paddle Trail. Loreauville is a perfect example of that partnership.”

TECHE Project is a local 501c3 non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to celebrating and continuing the river’s legacy through recreational, historical and ecological values of Bayou Teche and Lower Atchafalaya River communities. With parish and municipal governments, businesses, and community support, it successfully put Bayou Teche and the Lower Atchafalaya River on the list of National Water Trails from the National Park Service in 2015. It is one of only twenty-one nationally recognized trails in the country. Leveraging this designation with the fifteen Trail Towns along the trail’s corridor helps build a nature-based economy.

“The dock is an effort to enhance a paddler’s experience to support the national water trail,” says Brent Miller, TECHE Project Council Member. The dock was funded by a grant from the US department of Transportation through the State’s Recreational Trails Program with the Office of State Parks, and support of TECHE Project and University of Louisiana at Lafayette. “The plan is to put additional docks placed in each of the four parishes along the Water Trail,” adds Miller.

Each dock is accessible by an ADA assessable gangway to encourage people of all ability levels to enjoy paddling. With two overhead assist bars, the dock provides stability and security for canoes and kayaks

With the help of local, parish, state, and federal agencies, since its inception in 2008, the TECHE Project has removed over 50 tons of garbage and invasive species, earned recognition as a National Paddle Trail and National Water Trail, fostered a world renowned paddle race with the Tour du Teche, and offers workshops on bank line management and wood duck habitat, initiated a wood duck box mile marker program, and each October hosts the free Shake Your Trail Feather Festival with live music, folklife workshops, and bike/float to the festival event all to promote and raise money for the paddle trail. For more information, to donate, or to volunteer you can visit or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @techeproject.

Public Meeting Answers Questions About Bayou Teche Oil Spill


Public Meeting Answers Questions About Bayou Teche Oil Spill


On Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at the Chitimacha Tribal School Gymnasium, 3613 Chitimacha Trail, Jeanerette, LA, the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana, in partnership with TECHE Project and LEAN (Louisiana Environmental Action Network), will host an informative public presentation for all citizens to learn more about the recent Charenton oil spill and its potential after effects on Bayou Teche.

This is an opportunity for government leaders and citizens to learn and ask questions about immediate and long-term impacts of the Charenton oil spill as it pertains to various issues from safe drinking water concerns to fishing and swimming. Discussions will include strategies to prevent future threats to Bayou Teche. The meeting will be lead by environmental expert and chemist, Wilma Subra.

Subra holds degrees in Microbiology/Chemistry from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. She received the MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” Award from the MacArthur Foundation for helping ordinary citizens understand, cope with and combat environmental issues in their communities and was one of three finalist in the Environmental Category of the 2004 Volvo for Life Award. Subra was selected in 2011 as one of the ‘Lifetime Remarkable Woman’ and most recently won the 2011 Global Exchange, Human Rights Award for her ongoing work with the BP Oil Spill and the communities affected by it.

Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) is a community based not-for-profit organization that has been working since 1986 to resolve the unique environmental struggles present in Louisiana. Through education, empowerment, advocacy, and support; LEAN provides the necessary tools and services to individuals and communities facing environmental problems. Problems that often threaten their health, safety and quality of life.

TECHE Project is a non-profit organization that manages a community-based, Bayou renaissance program to restore the Teche as the focal point of our communities. These community-based initiatives include the National Bayou Teche Paddle and Water Trail, Trail Head and Trail Town Partnerships, trash pick-ups and educational programs.

For more information, contact TECHE Project at, or call 337-277-5292.

Fete-Dieu du Teche Eucharistic Boat Procession

Fete-Dieu du Teche Eucharistic Boat Procession is just a little over 2 months away! Please spread the word!  Schedule your vacation day for Monday, August 15, Feast of the Assumption and bring your family.  The day begins with Mass at 8am at St. Leo the Great in Leonville and the procession arrives in St. Martinville at 5pm, stopping along the banks of the Churches for the Rosary and Benediction along the way.  See attached promo poster with map.  More to come as we approach August 15! Follow activity on our Facebook page

Fete-Dieu du Teche congratulates and welcomes His Excellency J. Douglas Deshotel, D.D. as the seventh bishop of Lafayette. Bishop Deshotel has graciously agreed to preside and preach at the Mass of the Assumption in Leonville on Monday, August 15 to commence Fete-Dieu du Teche 2016! Mark your calendars and ready your boats!

“National Acadian Day” honors those who made their journey here 250 years ago

(Next) Best Paddling Town: Breaux Bridge

Another mile stone for the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail. This month, the city of Breaux Bridge nestled on the banks of the Bayou Teche was mentioned in Canoe and Kayak Magazine as the “Next Best Paddling Town.” This is an huge accomplishment for the Bayou Teche. We strive to make the Teche a destination for all visitors to this beautiful area. We work tirelessly to make sure the bayou is clean and user friendly, adding amenities in all four parishes and along the 135 mile of scenic waterway. If you have not seen it, check out this article here to see how the Bayou Teche gained more national recognition.

Bayou Teche Spring Clean 2016


The cool crisp morning of April 9th started off like any other. Then at 9am in Parks, La, 50 plus volunteers strapped on life jackets, put on gloves, and got their hands dirty to remove garbage from the Bayou Teche National Water Trail. Partnering with Project Front Yard-St. Martin, Keep Louisiana Beautiful, St. Martin Parish Government, The Village of Parks, Bayou Teche Experience, Bayou Teche Brewing, St. Martin Hospital and the Parks Volunteer Fire Dept the TECHE project led the way to remove 1.2 tons of garbage from the banks of Louisiana’s most historic bayou. Items include: 10 lawn chairs, 9 5 gal buckets, 4 auto tires, 4 florescent light bulbs, and 1 and 1/2 boats. Keeping the Bayou Teche watershed free and clear will only promote more visitors to come explore our paddle trail. We want to send a very special thanks to all of those who came and helped motivate others to rise to the challenge. After the cleanup, volunteers were treated to live music, food, and drinks to celebrate our accomplishments. With out the help of our local volunteers and generous donations none of this could be possible. To report litter of invasive species on your area of Bayou Teche please contact Dane Thibodeaux at

Letter from Ex. Director Conni Castille

April 7, 2016

Dear TECHE Project Members:

We write to update you on the oil spill on Bayou Teche near Charenton, approximately situated at mile 87of its 135 miles (roughly 5 miles south of Jeanerette, and 9 miles north of Baldwin, and 4 miles north of the Chitimacha boat landing).

Since the incident a week ago, we have been monitoring the situation and gathering information. Our Board member, Jimmy Gravois of Metal Shark, lives one mile downstream from the spill and has been in constant communication with Parish officials. Metal Shark’s Franklin shipyard is providing a staging area for clean-up crews.

In addition to communicating with municipal and Parish governments, we are also in conversation with the Chitimacha Tribe Council in Charenton, located XX miles downstream from the spill, to address its questions and concerns, including preserving its healthy drinking water supply and its archeological treasures.

TECHE Project is a member of LEAN (Louisiana Environmental Action Network). LEAN is providing us consultations with its expert staff, including Chemist Wilma Subra, in monitoring the present and future impact on the Teche’s water, plants, and animals in the effected area.

We will continue to monitor the spill and will send updates as more information becomes available. A town meeting with Dr. Subra is under consideration to disseminate information and to address questions from residents regarding health, clean water, and preventive measures to keep something like this from happening again, anywhere along the bayou.

Although eight miles of the Teche near Charenton are closed at this time, on a positive note, the rest of the Teche is open for paddling and boating! We encourage you to get out there and remember why the Teche is worthy of our stewardship.

Thank you for your membership and support. With your help, we are able to grow our programming, including monitoring the ecological environment of our national water trail. The value of our work, sadly, is reinforced during times like these.

Best Regards,

Conni Castille

Executive Director



Oil Spills into Bayou Teche National Water Trail

This is never a headline that we want to put on our website.


***Article written by Corey Vaughn published by The Daily Iberian. ***

CHARENTON — The U.S. Coast Guard is estimating about 12,500 gallons of oil spilled in and around Bayou Teche Monday, the long-term effects of which remain unclear.

Lt. J.G. Lisa Siebert said in a prepared statement released Tuesday afternoon 54 responders, six barges, six jon boats, three marco skimmers and six drum skimmers are overseeing the cleanup effort they were initially alerted to Monday.

According to the statement, watchstanders with Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Morgan City received a call at around 6 p.m. from PSC Industrial Outsourcing, which is located in Charenton near the St. Mary Surgar Co-op. The company reported an unknown amount of crude oil spilled into the Bayou Teche, saying a tank was being filled with crude oil when the incident occurred.

“We’re estimating that 12,558 gallons were spilled,” Sieber said Tuesday afternoon. “Let me be clear, not all of that went into the Bayou Teche.”

Siebert said some of the oil landed in nearby vegetation next to the Bayou Teche, although the Coast Guard could not yet estimate how much entered the nationally recognized waterway. Cleanup is expected to last at least a week, with the Bayou Teche “definitely” closed off to traffic during that time between Jeanerette and Charenton.

“Right now, we’re not seeing any major effects on the wildlife and vegetation, but I can’t tell you what the future holds,” Siebert said.

A shelter advisory was put out for residents near the area to stay in their homes Monday night and was lifted Tuesday morning. 

St. Mary Parish Councilman Craig Mathews represents the Sorrel district, and said local government involvement to fix the spill has been minimal. Mathews actually learned about it on Facebook, and said no authorities or even residents have called him about the damage.

“No one’s called me directly,” Mathews said. “Residents know who I am. They may be calling the courthouse, but I would think that if a natural disaster or safety hazard occurs, usually there’s some type of coordinated reaction from local government to try and mitigate damage or cooperate with the proper authorities. If those steps were taken you can be sure I would be involved.”

The cause of the incident is under investigation. Siebert said the long-term effects the spill could have on the local environment is not clear.

“Right now there hasn’t been any major effects,” she said. “No one’s reporting damage to vegetation or wildlife, but I can’t tell you what the future looks like.”

Projected storms that are slated to come into the area later this week also do not bode well for the cleanup effort, Siebert said.


The T.E.C.H.E. Project,is partnering with Project Front Yard- St. Martin Parish and Keep St. Martin Beautiful to bring you the 2016 Bayou Teche Watershed Spring Cleaning. An effort organized by The TECHE Project and Project Front Yard-St. Martin Parish along with the help of Keep Louisiana Beautiful and the #GreatAmericanCleanup initiative.

The Bayou Teche Watershed Spring Cleaning will begin at 9 am and will culminate with a community gathering starting at 12pm. Volunteers are asked to “rise to the challenge” to assist with a beautification project on the water and in and around Cecile Rousseau Poche’ Memorial Park in Parks, La. The TECHE Project will have extra boats and life vests for those who don’t have a boat to pick up trash along the banks of the Teche. Do not feel like getting on the water? Come out and get your gear to have a successful cleanup around our beautiful park. Project Front Yard-St. Martin will have gloves, brushes, and paint to help repair playground equipment, and give the park and all around face lift for the upcoming spring season.

The first 25 volunteers to show up will receive a #SpringClean2016 volunteer t-shirt. All cleanup volunteers will receive a complimentary Jambalaya lunch provided by St Martin Hospital and drinks of choice (beer/soda/water). Bayou Teche Brewing will be on hand to showcase some of their craft brews for your drinking enjoyment. At 12:00 pm, Parks native and Grammy Nominated Creole/Zydeco musician Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band and Jesse Beliveau will lead a musical set to celebrate in our accomplishments. You don’t need to be a volunteer to come out and celebrate Louisiana’s only National Water Trail. Food and beverages will be available and the music is free, so come out and show your support for a cleaner Bayou Teche and St. Martin Parish. You can also show your support by becoming a member of the TECHE Project or doing your part to Keep St. Martin Clean. Special thanks go out to St. Martin Parish Government and Bayou Teche Brewery for their continued support of the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail. This and previous projects could not be possible without the help and support of our many volunteers who have helped to keep our bayou clean.

To report litter or invasive species on your area of the Bayou Teche or in St. Martin Parish please contact @Dane Thibodeaux at or Holli Guilbeau at

TECHE Project Nominated as Times of Acadiana Best Non-Profit

A very special milestone has been reached for the TECHE Project family. This year we are happy to announce that we have been nominated in two categories, in the Times of Acadiana Best of poll. You can vote for us as “Best Non-Profit Organization” and our very own Shake Your Trail Feather in “Best Festival”. We are honored to to have made such an impact on the lives of the people of Acadiana and we hope that we can continue to make a difference for our Bayou Teche. If you are interested in supporting the TECHE Project through this process please click the link below where you can vote for the TECHE Project and other local Acadiana businesses and activities.  Nominations now open through March 17th! Thank you from all of us here at the TECHE Project!