“Friends” Basin News Update

Check in here regularly for your Atchafalaya Basin information.
The Atchafalaya Basin needs your support!
Enjoy Atchafalaya every day.


From Toni DeBossier:
It is with great sadness that I pass on to the group that Greg Guirard passed from us yesterday [June 2, 2017] at 12:44pm after a short battle with meningitis. Greg lived a full and wonderful 80 years and in some way touched many of us through his love of nature and the Basin. He will be missed.
[ed. note: Greg was a longtime Friend, supporter, and ambassador for the Atchafalaya Basin. If you haven’t read his books on the Basin, you should.
You can also see many of his images in the Atchafalaya Welcome Center on I-10 at Butte LaRose.]


Friends of the Atchafalaya

The next meeting of the FOA is planned for June 27, 2017 at the Louisiana Wildlife Federation office, 337 S. Acadian Thruway, Baton Rouge, LA 70806, at 7:00 PM. The program will be on the current activity of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality concerning the Atchafalaya Basin.

FOA meetings are open to the public but please let us know if you plan to attend so we will know how many to expect.  I had to turn comments back off because of the spam so please send email.

Our address is foa  a_t  basinbuddies dot org (type it like it sounds, not like it is shows here to reduce spamming.)

Please remember to pay your 2017 dues and help us continue to spread the word about the Atchafalaya Basin. If you don’t want to use the online link, you can send us mail at Box 82508, Baton Rouge, LA, 70884-2508.

Download the Basin Information Sheets!


Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF)

The FOA is an affiliate of the Louisiana Wildlife Federation, led by Executive Director Rebecca Triche and President Barney Callahan. Visit the LA Wildlife Federation on the web or on facebook. 

LWF has published a coloring book for first time anglers in the Atchafalaya. You can download it from the LWF web site or pick one up from any event with an LWF presence.


Atchafalaya National Heritage Area (ANHA)

The next meeting of the Atchafalaya Trace Commission, the managing entity of the Heritage Area, will be held on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the old Capitol Park Welcome Center on River Road. (The Welcome Center is no longer in operation as a tourist information center, but it is still available for State meetings and for rent for public and private events.)

The Heritage Area has a contract in work for the development of an Area-wide driving trail which will connect important historical and cultural sites throughout the fourteen parishes of the Area. The sites will relate the importance of the relationships among the water, the people and the land in the Area. Go to the Trail Site for more information or to recommend a site for the Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail.

The Heritage Area is also supporting the upgrading of exhibits at the Atchafalaya Welcome Center on I-10 at the Butte La Rose Exit. The upgrade is partially complete and many new images are already displayed on new electronic displays, greatly improving the quality of the image displays from the old, worn transparencies. More changes will be made as the project proceeds.

To view the Heritage Area Management Plan, go to the Park Service site. More details are available on the ANHA web site. For other information on the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, contact Debra Credeur at the Heritage Area office.


Atchafalaya Basin Program (ABP)

 The Draft 2018 Atchafalaya Basin Program Annual Plan is available on the DNR web site. Funding for projects will come from money previously allocated to projects which stalled for various reasons, including lack of landowner support, permit issues, or the high cost of sediment removal or mitigation. Plans are also being made for a revision of the 1998 State Master Plan that generated the Atchafalaya Basin Program. The 2018 Annual Plan contains information about the previously approved projects that are being reprogrammed. The Plan was approved by the Research and Promotion Board and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. It is now up to the Legislature to approve and add funding to the Program. Start working on your proposals for next year and get them in to the Basin Program. The Program is working with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to move forward on East Grand Lake projects, now that the Conservancy is a major land owner in the project area. TNC hopes to provide matching funds for some of the projects so that the Basin Program can leverage State dollars and get even more water flowing through the swamps.

The Department of Natural Resources sends out a daily e-mail message about Basin Program Activities and water stage data. If you would like to subscribe, contact april_dot_newman 0r sara_dot_krupa -at- la.gov or 225_223_3835. You can also read the updates online.


Atchafalaya Basinkeeper 

Basinkeeper reports that Landman Dan Collins, former contractor to the Department of Natural Resources, has won another stage of his “whistleblower” lawsuit against the Department concerning apparent improprieties around a dredging project on Bayou Postillion in the lower east area of the Floodway a decade ago. Collins also contended the bid process for oil and gas leases on State land in the area contained suspicious stream re-naming and location information that tainted the process. Collins also pointed out to the jury that required names of the landowners on either side where the dredge occurred were simply removed regarding those parties that did not or would not sign a unique transfer of the State’s interest in a Boundary Agreement where the State gave away surface and minerals that were transferred to the private landowners on either side of the dredge. This unique transfer of the State’s (Public’s) interest resulted in the State retaining only 25′ of ownership within the middle of the bayou that approaches 150′-200′ in width, divesting (giving away) the remainder of the waterway to the private landowners.

There is an article online about the lawsuit. Feel free to comment at that site. There is also one on the front page of the Wed. March 16, 2016 Teche News. (You will need a subscription to read it online.)

More information on Atchafalaya Basinkeeper can be found on the web and on facebook.


Iberville Parish Museum 

The Iberville Parish Museum, located on Main Street in Plaquemine, across from the old Bayou Plaquemine locks and one-half block from the Mississippi River Levee, is working on an Atchafalaya Room. If you have any relics from the Basin that you would like on display, stop by the Museum on weekdays and talk to curator Elizabeth Brantley. The room should be open to the public soon.


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