Archive for the ‘Upcoming Activities’ Category

Heritage Area Public Meetings Set

Monday, April 19th, 2010

The dates for the public input meetings on the Atchafalaya Heritage Area Management Plan Alternatives have been announced.

There will be meetings at various times in Grosse Tete, Baton Rouge, Opelousas, Mansura, Patterson and St. Martinville, from May 3-6, 2010.

The whirlwind tour is designed to solicit opinions from citizens in the area on the proper focus for the heritage area. Implementation plans will be based on the results of the meetings and a final decision by the Atchafalaya Trace Commission, the governing body for the Heritage Area.

Make plans to come out to the meeting nearest you and make your opinions known.
The FOA Board comments are available here.

The full schedule is listed below.

For more details, including directions to each location, go to the Announcement Page.


Please join the Atchafalaya Commission and NPS planners to learn about and discuss the preliminary alternatives
for the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area Management Plan.

Description: The meeting will be an open house format. There will be a brief presentation at the beginning of the meeting.

Date                Start        End

05/03/2010 5:00 PM    6:30 PM
Iberville Parish Visitors Center
17525 Hwy 77
Grosse Tete, Louisiana

05/04/2010 10:00 AM    11:30 AM  
Capitol Park Welcome Center

702 N. River Road
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

05/04/2010 4:00 PM    5:30 PM   
Capitol Park Welcome Center

702 N. River Road
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

05/05/2010 10:00 AM    11:30 AM
The Old Schoolhouse in Le Vieux Village
828 East Landry
Opelousas, Louisiana

05/05/2010 3:00 PM    4:30 PM
Avoyelles Parish Tourist Commission Meeting Room
8592 Hwy 1
Mansura, Louisiana

05/06/2010 1:00 PM    2:30 PM
Wendell Williams Memorial Aviation Museum
118 Cotten Road
Patterson, Louisiana

05/06/2010 5:00 PM    6:30 PM
Acadian Memorial Museum
121 S. New Market St.
St. Martinville, Louisiana


LA 2010 Earth Day – April 18

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Come to Downtown Baton Rouge for LA Earth Day 2010 activities on Sunday, April 18, 2010. The Friends will join the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in the “Nature In Your Neighborhood” tent to remind everyone that “We live in the house that we ALL build.” The official start time is Noon but we will be set up by 10:30 to handle the folks who start to show up early to enjoy the day in the park. The exhibits close around 5 PM.

We will be located in the same place as last year, on the concrete plaza, between the Government Building, the Centroplex Theater and the River Center Expo Hall. The River Center parking garages will be open or you can park in one of the open parking lots along the levee, at the casino, or near the capitol and enjoy a walk in the wonderful weather.

Please contact me at charlesc at if you can work the booth with us for part of the day.


LA OCPR to Hold Forest Meetings

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration will conduct four informational meetings for interested landowners across coastal Louisiana from April 20-29, 2010 to discuss the Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative (CFCI) being funded by the state’s Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP).

All those who own or are charged with managing forested coastal lands are encouraged to attend. The meeting dates and locations are as follows:

• Tuesday, April 20: Slidell. Old Slidell City Council Chambers. 1330 Bayou Lane Building #110

• Thursday, April 22: Houma. Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum. 7910 Park Avenue.

• Tuesday, April 27: Lake Charles. Calcasieu Parish Public Library. 301 West Claude Street

• Thursday, April 29: Lafayette. Clifton Chenier Center. 220 West Willow Street.

All meetings will begin with an open house session with officials from the Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration at 4 p.m. followed by a presentation detailing the program at 6 p.m. and a question and answer period.

The CFCI is a completely voluntary program with a primary objective of acquiring land rights from willing landowners to address demonstrated threats of habitat loss or land-use change and opportunities for restoration or enhanced sustainability of coastal forest tracts that provide significant ecological value and may provide storm damage reduction functions.

Land owners who are interested in participating are being asked to submit an application providing information about the parcel of land they are proposing for inclusion in the program. OCPR will open a 90 day application period beginning May 1, 2010.

More detailed information about the program is available at

Another Teche Cleanup Scheduled!

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Blake Couvillion and the Cajuns for Bayou Teche/TECHE Project are looking for volunteers to participate in a clean-up of the Bayou Tech between the Cecilia Bridge and Poche Bridge on Saturday, March 27, 2010.

Trash Bags and trash pickers are provided, volunteers with motor boars are needed and kayaks and canoes are also welcomed.

Gumbo will be also be provided.

WHEN: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Saturday, March 27, 2010

WHERE: 2085 Hwy. 31, Arnaudville, LA

Cajuns for Bayou Teche
********* Shane Seneca Welding & Fabrication
********* Keep St. Martin Beautiful
********* St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Department
********* All Volunteers Welcomed!

WHAT: Bayou Teche Clean-up


Iberville Welcome Center Opening

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

The Parish of Iberville has issued the following notice:

Please join Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso, Jr. and the Iberville Parish Council
for the Grand Opening of the Iberville Parish Visitors Center
17525 Highway 77
Grosse Tete, LA 70740
Friday, March 19, 2010 at Noon
Light lunch to be served
Please RSVP to the Iberville Parish Tourist Commission, 225-687-2642

This project has been in the works for quite some time and will add an important component to the Basin tourism network. With Cajun Coast in St. Mary at the south end, Iberia and St. Martin on the west and St. Landry in the northwest, the Iberville Center fills an opening on the east to provide local information to visitors seeking access to the Basin and surrounding areas. Iberville is busily collecting information on activities from birding to cycling to camping that will add to everything that they already know about boating, hunting and fishing. The Parish also has plans for a camp clean-up operation to occur during October, Atchafalaya Month, along with outings and educational activities at the Center as a part of Experience Atchafalaya Days.

Other parishes, take note. Iberville is on the move and looking to entertain visitors from all around. If we all work together, we can make our Heritage Area a long-term destination for visitors from the State, the region and the Nation. Start thinking about how you can be part of Atchafalaya Month this year.


FOA Offers LWF 2010 Resolutions

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

The Friends of the Atchafalaya Board has submitted two resolutions for consideration at the 2010 Louisiana Wildlife Federation Annual Convention to be held this weekend near Many, LA, on Toledo Bend. You can click on the highlighted words to download copies of the resolutions and letters of support prepared by the FOA.

The first resolution urges the LA Department of Natural Resources to promote the importance of the Atchafalaya Basin resources in a study planned by the US Army Corps of Engineers on possible changes in the operation of the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System to support certain aspects of Coastal Restoration. Click here to download the letter for this resolution.

The second resolution supports the passage of a proposed constitutional amendment that would better fund the Atchafalaya Basin Program in the future and reduce the funding uncertainty that currently exists in restoration planning. Click here to download the letter for this resolution.

Please leave comments about these documents if you like.


Crawfish Promotion Board Meets

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

On November 17, 2009, the Louisiana Crawfish Promotion and Research Board met at the Department of Agriculture Building on Florida Blvd. in Baton Rouge. The Board is made up of crawfishermen, processors, crawfish farmers, retailers, bait suppliers, restaurant operators, and representatives of related organizations, and is funded through assessments on live crawfish, bait, and processed meat.

The Board meets quarterly and is concerned with promoting Louisiana Crawfish and supporting the industry so that maximum use can be made of the crawfish resources and so that local fishermen and producers can continue to provide jobs for people in the area around the Atchafalaya Basin and throughout south Louisiana.

The Board discussed an ongoing search for an automated peeling machine and a project of the Board to fund development of an effective machine to do that job. The Board has targeted the amount of $250,000 for the project and has raised more than 3/4 of that amount through its assessments on the industry. Several members are involved in research on the subject and a committee is being formed to take the project to the next level of locating a company willing to take on the effort.

The Board also discussed a report funded by the Board and produced by two area biologists. The report concluded that there is no biological support for creating seasons for crawfish in the Basin. The Board agreed with that conclusion but took issue with some of the background arguments in the report and decided to table the report and to not proceed with the development of a management plan.

In other business, the board was informed that cutbacks in the Agriculture Department will reduce the support available for the Board. The new Chairman of the Board proposed that the position of Staff Director not be filled and that the Board members would take on additional tasks to see if they could function effectively without a Director. The Board will also be required to take over the management of the web site and they heard from a representative of Garrison and Associates Advertising, the company originally responsible for creating the web site. Garrison is interested in contracting with the Board to provide management services for the web site. Garrison was invited to provide proposals for basic support and a more comprehensive promotion campaign including web and other promotional services.

Attendance was high and the Veteran’s Auditorium in the Ag Department Building was filled to capacity by crawfishermen and other interested parties.


FOA Board Holiday Meeting

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Because of conflicts with holiday activities and the Atchafalaya Basin Program 2011 Annual Plan Hearings, a combined November/December Friends of the Atchafalaya Board of Directors meeting will be held on December 15, 2009, at the Bluebonnet Branch Library in Baton Rouge at 6:30 PM.

Everyone is invited to attend and submit suggestions for 2010 projects for the FOA and to bring pictures and suggestions from Experience Atchafalaya Days so that we can improve the events next year.

The meeting location is 9200 Bluebonnet Blvd, near Highland Road, in South Baton Rouge.

GPS coordinates: 30.365300, -91.105147 – Click HERE to see the location on a map.

2011 ABP Annual Plan Process

Monday, November 9th, 2009

The Atchafalaya Basin Program has posted the Draft 2011 Annual Plan for the Basin Program on the Program web site. This is the plan that was approved by the Research and Promotion Board last week. It will be reviewed in public hearings around the Basin later in November.

The public hearings schedule for the proposed Annual Plan has been posted on the DNR web site, along with maps to each location.

Here is a summary:

November 19, 2009 – 6:00 p.m.
Iberville Parish Council Chambers
58050 Meriam St
Plaquemine, LA 70764

Novembr 23, 2009 – 6:00 p.m.
St. Martin Parish – Henderson Rec Building
Guidry Park (Amy St)
Henderson LA 70517

Novembr 24, 2009 – 6:00 p.m.
St. Mary Parish – Morgan City Auditorium
728 Myrtle St.
Morgan City LA 70380


Basin Planning Meetings

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Two governmental groups with responsibilities in the Atchafalaya Basin will meet in early November to work on plans for the future of the area.

The Atchafalaya Trace Commission will hold it’s regular bi-monthly meeting on Tuesday, November 3, 2009 at 1:00 PM at the Capital Park Welcome Center. The Trace Commission is the managing authority for the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area and is in the process of developing a management plan for the Heritage Area.

The Capitol Park Welcome Center is located at 702 N. River Road, Baton Rouge LA 70802: (directly facing the river next to the Pentagon Barracks, one block south of the State Capitol and one-half block north of North Street). You are welcome to park in either the Welcome Center Parking Garage or in the River Road levee parking lot. The garage is located at the corner of North Street and River Road. Enter the garage via the front entrance on North Street, park, walk out the back right door of the garage toward the State Capitol, walk down the sidewalk 100 feet to the Welcome Center. We are allowed to validate your parking ticket after two hours of parking. Also, located in front of Capitol Park Welcome Center, directly across River Road, is a paved, open-air lot on the levee. Please be careful when crossing River Road.

More information about the Heritage Area is available from Debra Credeur, Executive Director, Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, Louisiana Office of Tourism, 1051 N. Third St., P. O. Box 94291, Baton Rouge, LA, 70804-9291, 225-219-0768.

The Atchafalaya Basin Program Research and Promotion Board will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 9:30 AM at the LaSalle Building in downtown Baton Rouge. Projects for inclusion in the 2011 Annual Plan will be reviewed at the meeting.

The Atchafalaya Basin Program resides in the La Dept of Natural Resources (DNR) and is located in the LaSalle Building, at 617 N. 3rd Street in Baton Rouge. The meeting will be held in the LaBelle Room on the First Floor of the LaSalle Building. For more information on the Basin Program, you can call Annette at (225) 342-6437.