Hot Spot

Bayou Teche National Historic Paddle Trail Revisit 2018

Jeanerette, LA

The Bayou Teche is a 135-mile waterway located within southern Louisiana that has a unique cultural and historical significance. Though you can see incredible stretches of Louisiana nature, the focus of the trail is on the immense amount of history present in the surrounding communities. There are numerous museums and historical plaques celebrating Acadian/Cajun and Creole culture that give paddlers a one of a kind experience. In addition, those traveling the waterway are encouraged to stop in the communities along the trail to experience the music, food, and people that make this place special. The Teche was initially selected to be a Hot Spot in 2015. Though the lessons learned during this initial Hot Spot continue to be shared in the communities around the Teche, impacts still remain. These impacts are remnants of the community’s mistreatments of the waterway in previous decades and include illegal dumping and littering, sewage runoff from proximal systems that are vulnerable to floods, drainage from farm fields and processing plants nearby and the encroachment of invasive species from recreational activities.

Solution

  • 135 Miles of River Trail Protected
  • 13 Communities Reached
  • 254 People Educated

Leave No Trace teamed up with the TECHE Project for four days of Leave No Trace education and community outreach. The Center staff hosted a workshop in which they engaged participants with Leave No Trace skills and ethics and how they could be applied to the unique ecosystem of the Bayou Teche. They also shared techniques for disseminating this information to other members of their community. During the annual Shake Your Trail Feather festival the team was able to work directly with hundreds of community members while kayaking down the bayou and while at the festival grounds in Breaux Bridge. In addition, the discussion panel that took place during the festival between bayou stakeholders was instrumental in promoting future work and forging relationships between individuals who might not usually work together.

 

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