Bayou Teche--2015 Hot Spot

Breaux Bridge, LA--Wrapping up our 2015 Hot Spots, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers East Central Team discovered the importance, culture, and recreational impact surrounding the Bayou Teche.  In January, 2015, the waterway was designated a national water trail due to its scenic 135 miles that stretch through four parishes (or counties).  According to Conni Castille, executive director of the T.E.C.H.E. project who has a passion for Cajun culture and dancing to Zydeco music, "The Teche has historic and cultural value to us, and we are happy to share it with the nation.  The trail exemplifies the natural beauty of South Louisiana bayous and its people."  

Conni is a driving force and spirit on the T.E.C.H.E. Project council.  During our visit, we discovered the power of culture and community--how such a small group of the willing can move others to action.  The T.E.C.H.E. Project, emerging in 2009, has assembled an army of cleanups and invasive specie removal.  This proactive council has removed over 51.21 TONS of garbage from the Teche.  During our visit, alone, one-thousand and five-hundred pounds were collected.  Check out the graphic below and discover some of the unique items that were uncovered.     

 

Along with Trash Bash and BOO!gie cleanup, we visited 3 local schools for interactive workshops conveying ways that each of the 280 students can keep the Bayou Teche healthy and clean; hosted a Trainer Course with local users of the bayou; attended a ribbon cutting event for the new floating dock access in Breaux Bridge; had 4 Gumbo dinners; and learned how to dance to Cajun and Zydeco music.  

A huge thank-you is extended to the T.E.C.H.E Project and all their work on the Bayou Teche and for inviting the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers to share the beauty of Louisiana.

Keep on paddling!

Katelyn & Blake

Leave No Trace’s Katelyn Stutterheim and Blake Jackson are part of the 2015 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, Deuter, Hi-Cone, REI, Smartwool, The North Face, and Yakima.