Friday, November 13, 2009

Teche Clean-Up This Sunday

Coming off of a successful fundraiser at Cafe des Amis where Cajuns for Bayou Teche raised $1,600, the group is organizing it's next move; a clean-up on Bayou Teche slated for this Sunday, November 15th from noon until 4pm. Volunteers with motor boats are needed. Kayaks and canoes are encouraged to come out, as well. Supporters who do not have a boat are invited to the pavilion to join in a gumbo and to show their appreciation for the clean-up effort. Hebert's Superette on Grand Pointe Highway will be donating everything for the gumbo and Furman Guillory and Richard Burgess will lend their culinary expertise to feed volunteers and supporters.

The Kiwanis Club of Breaux Bridge, Keep St. Martin Beautiful and Acadiana Resource Conservation and Development have partnered with Cajuns for Bayou Teche and the St. Martin Sheriff, Ronnie Theriot and St. Landry Parish Sheriff, Bobby Guidroz have sent out crews to work on the bayou with Blake Couvillion and volunteers since the clean-up efforts began in May, 2009.

"This is a new day for Bayou Teche," says Kristen Kordecki, watershed coordinator from Acadiana Resource Conservation and Development. "Our communities along the Teche know we need to address non-point source pollution and water quality in the Teche if we want to improve fishing opportunities and habitat in the Teche. Cajuns for Bayou Teche has started us off on the right foot by first helping get trash and debris out of the waterway, which is no small task. Now is time for us to look at erosion and run-off from our urban, residential and agriculture areas into the Teche and see what we can do to help slow that down. We are all in this together and Cajuns for Bayou Teche has showed leadership in addressing some of the issues at hand."

Blake Couvillion, director of Cajuns for Bayou Teche and president of the TECHE Project says, "It will take a while to pull refrigerators, hot water heaters, and all the other junk people throw in the bayou, not to mention the log jams. And that's just from Port Barre to Keystone Lock and Dam!" He also said, "This is our heritage, our history, the story we will tell our children of how so many of us came to this land. We used to be able to fish out of there for our meals. We need to treat it with the respect it deserves and stop using it as a back ally to dump our junk and throw our used motor oil."

Cajuns for Bayou Teche will be out with their boat, the "St. Michael" and invites the community to join in the clean up effort or to enjoy some home-cooked gumbo and cheer on the volunteers!

Photo by Natalie Maynor

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