‘Recent News’ Category

Recent Atchafalaya Basin Press

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Film to focus on old-time south Louisiana boat-builder

When Charles Richard set out to make a documentary about the unique designs of south Louisiana’s wooden boats, he had no idea it would lead to new questions about the memory and visualization capabilities of the human brain…

He said the film will focus on Edward Couvillier, an 85-year-old boat builder who lives in St. Mary Parish on Bayou Teche, as he builds a classic Creole rowing skiff.

“Mr. Couvillier and all of these old-time boat builders are able to visualize to a degree of complexity that is pretty far beyond what most of us are accustomed to.”

read more here…


Louisiana forests being sacrificed to fuel Europe’s biomass boom

Environmentalists say swaths of Southeastern woodlands are being cut down for ‘green’ energy efforts across Atlantic

January 15, 2014     Al Jazeera America

The smell of freshly cut wood wafting from a dirt lot along an industrial stretch of road near the state capital might not conjure up an image of green energy, but some say this is the future of sustainability.

The smell comes from two white plastic domes rising high along the Mississippi River. Stored inside those domes are millions of wood pellets, which started as trees in the surrounding 50- to 75-mile area, and were converted to easily shippable and burnable material at mammoth factories where wood can stretch as far as the eye can see. The white domes aren’t the pellets’ final destination.

After being packed into containers the wood is shipped to Europe, where power companies will burn them in an effort to meet the European Union’s stringent renewable energy requirements. This is known as biomass energy. The problem is, not everyone thinks burning wood is green.

…read more here.


Freezing temps put chill on early crawfish season

January 13, 2014     Houma Courier

Last week’s frigid weather put a chill on a promising early crawfish season with retail prices jumping this week to highs of over $6 per pound.

The shortage was so sudden that Nancy’s Seafood Shack in east Houma has stopped accepting take-out orders for the time being. “We’re only getting a few sacks a day, and what we are getting is reserved for dine in only,” said hostess Rochelle Dupre. “Right now we’re selling it for about $6 a pound, in December it was going for around $4.50, $5.”

The colder water slows the maturity of emerging crawfish, according to Atchafalaya Basin fisherman Jodie Meche. The emerging crawfish shells do not harden during colder temperatures. “The colder temperatures we’re having are definitely going to slow supply,” said Meche. “Naturally the colder temperatures are going to affect how they move and what they eat.” An abundance of fresh water this fall helped jump start the season early this year. Meche said farmers got off to an early start to the season this year, with crawfish hitting the market as early as November.

…more at the Houma Courier


July 2012 Meetings_Report

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Click HERE for a recap of several meetings held around the Basin over the past month.

Included are the Atchafalaya Basin Program Technical Advisory Group meeting, Friends of the Atchafalaya Board Meeting, and the Atchafalaya Trace Commission Regular Meeting, concerning the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area.

The document is an Adobe PDF file. You will need Adobe Reader or a similar PDF reader to open it.



May 2012 Meetings Report

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Click HERE for a recap of several meetings held around the Basin over the past month.

Included are the Friends of the Atchafalaya Board and Annual Meetings, the Atchafalaya Basin Program Technical Advisory Group meeting, a portion of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority meeting, and the Atchafalaya Trace Commission Regular Meeting, concerning the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area.

The document is an Adobe PDF file. You will need Adobe Reader or a similar PDF reader to open it.



Basin Inventory & Assessment Tool

Monday, September 5th, 2011


For Immediate Release
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Contact: Anna Dearmon, 225.223.3835

Atchafalaya Basin Natural Resource Inventory Assessment System Now Available Online

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is pleased to announce that the Atchafalaya Basin Natural Resource Inventory and Assessment System (ABNRIAS) is now available online at http://abp.cr.usgs.gov/

“The Department of Natural Resources is proud to have led the collaborative effort of state and federal agencies to develop a system that is useful not only to scientists who collect valuable information for the improvement of the area, but also to the people of Louisiana and its visitors who take advantage of the Sportsman’s Paradise of the Basin, enjoying world class fishing, hunting, canoeing, hiking and other outdoor activities.” said DNR Secretary Scott Angelle

This system that was approved in the FY2010 Annual Basin Plan and funded by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), will serve not only as the primary tool for decision making in the Basin for the Atchafalaya Basin Technical Advisory Group, but also as an important information portal for the many stakeholders of the Atchafalaya Basin.  This system has been developed as a cooperative effort between the DNR, CPRA, United States Geological Survey (USGS), United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), and Louisiana State University School of Renewable Natural Resources.

“This system is vital to our restoration and conservation efforts in the Atchafalaya Basin and allows us to plan projects that will improve water quality and are cost effective” said Louis Buatt, Assistant Secretary of DNR’s Office of Coastal Management.

The latest information available on the Atchafalaya Basin may be accessed through the ABNRIAS including Elevation Data (LIDAR), Satellite Imagery, Historical Survey Maps, Project Information, Presentations, and many other items that are of interest   The ABNRIAS was developed with input from a number of stakeholders in the Basin whose suggestions were incorporated into the development of the system.  Continued feedback from users will provide a means to continue to improve this system as a user friendly natural resource management system that is beneficial to scientists as well as every day users of the basin.

“The Atchafalaya Basin Program Natural Resource Inventory and Assessment System is a huge step forward in providing visibility into water conditions within the Floodway and the processes that drive the health of the Great Swamp,” according to Charles Caillouet of the Friends of the Atchafalaya.

The ABNRIAS is a web based system that serves as a clearinghouse of information that is collected or developed regarding the Atchafalaya Basin.  It includes custom tools that will assist users in both navigating the basin, managing resources, identifying public lands and boat launches and review or develop projects for the Annual Basin Plan. The system is also a repository of data that is collected in the Basin so that everyone will be able to view and use this information.

“Those of us who hunt and fish in the Basin will now be able to see and use the information that is collected by the scientific organizations, and compare to what we see.  That will help us to take an active role in the project planning process,” said Carroll Delahoussaye, St. Martin Parish Councilman.

“This system is a powerful tool to assist with the management of resources in the Atchafalaya Basin,” added Vic Blanchard, President of the Louisiana Landowners Association.


Much Water in the Basin

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

It has been interesting to watch the water coming in and going out of the Atchafalaya Basin.


2011 Flood Info Links

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Here are some links for 2011 Flood information – I’ll post more as i get them.


Carl Carline Paddles Away

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Word came today, April 8, 2011, that our friend in the Basin, Carl Carline, 80, life-long resident of Charenton, passed on this morning. (more…)

Proclamations Issued

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Here are downloads of the Proclamation of Atchafalaya Month by Governor Jindal and the
Declaration of Support and Commendation from Representative Karen St. Germain
and the Legislative Oversight Committee.

Thank you to the Governor and Representative St. Germain for their support of our activities from
the Friends of the Atchafalaya and the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area.

Governor Nominates Angelle

Monday, April 26th, 2010

From the Press Release:

State of Louisiana
Office of the Governor April 26, 2010
Press Office: Melissa Sellers, Kyle Plotkin
Contact: 225-342-8006, (c) 225-328-3755

Governor Jindal Nominates Scott Angelle to Serve as Lt. Gov.

BATON ROUGE – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced that Scott Angelle will be his nominee to serve as Lieutenant Governor after Mitch Landrieu takes office as the Mayor of New Orleans. Angelle can begin serving as Lieutenant Governor upon confirmation by a majority vote of each house of the Legislature. Once Angelle assumes the role of Lieutenant Governor, he will step down as the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, but he will continue in his current part-time role as legislative liaison for the Governor’s Office.

Governor Jindal said, “Scott has worked closely with us for more than two years now as we worked to reform our state. He is a public servant to the core and his incredible work ethic is perhaps only out-matched by his heart. We have a critical agenda in the Legislature this year and Scott is a vital part of our team. We will continue to rely on his insight and direction in passing the budget and addressing our budget shortfalls – in addition to advancing our legislative package.”

Angelle has agreed not to run for the Lieutenant Governor’s office, which the Governor said was a requirement for anyone he nominated for the post. The Governor will appoint Robert Harper as acting Secretary for the Department of Natural Resources. Angelle plans to return to the agency once his tenure as Lieutenant Governor has finished. Harper is currently serving as
Undersecretary at the Department of Natural Resources.

Scott Angelle Bio:
Scott Angelle, of Breaux Bridge, began serving as the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources in 2004.  For more than a year, he has also served as Governor Jindal’s legislative liaison.

Angelle led the state’s efforts in the Louisiana Legislature to pass a constitutional amendment dedicating future Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) revenues to finance the coastal restoration and hurricane protection plan, and he also led efforts to pass Legislation to create the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) to integrate coastal restoration and hurricane protection efforts in the state.

From 2000 to 2004, Angelle served as the Parish President of St. Martin Parish. Angelle was the first president in the parish’s history, and he worked to reduce business property taxes, upgrade the parish’s health care system and establish an advanced regional fire fighting training program.

He is chairman of the Louisiana State Mineral Board, a member of the Atchafalaya Basin Program Research and Promotion Board, and the LSU Center of Energy Studies Advisory Council. Angelle has a bachelor’s of science in petroleum land management from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana in Lafayette).

Robert Harper Bio:
Robert Harper, of Baton Rouge, has served as Undersecretary of the Department of Natural Resources for nearly two decades. As Undersecretary of DNR, Harper oversees the agency’s Office of Management and Finance.

Harper has been employed by the State of Louisiana for the last 40 years. He began his career in 1970 spending 20 years as a senior budget analyst with the Division of Administration. Harper holds a bachelor’s of arts degree from Louisiana State University in political science and is married to Sherry Penney Harper.

2011 ABP Annual Plan Moving

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The House Natural Resources Committee favorably reported out the House Concurrent Resolution proposed by Rep. Karen St. Germain to approve the Basin Program Annual Plan for 2010-2011. There were no objections to the plan and Rep. Sam Jones complimented the Basin Program on the Plan and on the staff’s responsiveness to input and concerns from his constituents. Rep. Jones attended many of the public meetings leading up to the Plan and has been supportive of the Program. He offered to co-sponsor the resolution with Rep. St. Germain and declared that she was the “Prom Queen” of the Atchafalaya for her tireless support for the Basin.

Also present and supporting were Harold Schoeffler of the Sierra Club and the Acadiana Council of the Boy Scouts, Randy Lanctot of the LA Wildlife Federation, and this reporter, representing the Friends of the Atchafalaya.

Rep. St. Germain deserves all our gratitude for her work getting Act 606 through the legislature, shepherding the annual plans through, supporting the Basin Program and working to get consistent funding for the Program.

Please don’t forget that she is giving us another chance to provide that consistent funding for the Program in the form of a Constitutional Amendment that will appear on the ballot this fall. Friends of the Atchafalaya has gone on record as supporting the amendment and introduced a resolution at the recent LA Wildlife Federation Convention to that effect. The Convention overwhelmingly supported the resolution and the two organizations will be working together to get the word out about the vote.