Atchafalaya Basin in 2011

[Updated – November 10, 2011]

On October 31, 2011, this writer gave a presentation as a part of Experience Atchafalaya Days 2011, on the Atchafalaya Basin and the Flood of 2011.

There is so much to talk about when one tries to define the Basin (it represents different things to just about everyone you ask), how it developed (natural and man-made changes), the players involved in managing and observing the Basin (dozens of Federal, State and local government agencies and at least that many non-governmental citizen groups, non-profits and special-interests), and the current situation (or at least one person’s view of it.)

The previous paragraph illustrates my problem.

On top of that, the preliminary information on the 2011 Flood from the various Agencies, by way of the Department of Natural Resources Atchafalaya Basin Program, the State coordinator for the flood response effort, is a heavy load, thanks to the unprecedented amount of data and personal observations available during the flood event.

Make no mistake, this is not a fully documented scientific document. I do not claim to be an expert in any of the disciplines reflected in this presentation. I am only a persistent documentarian of the technical variety, who has spent a decade, trying to understand why my observations of the Atchafalaya Basin were so different from those passed on to me by my Dad, who also loved the Great Swamp, and fed his family working in the oil and gas industry, often out in the Basin. Unfortunately, he died before i saw the importance of getting his first-hand take on the changes.

So, if you are interested in seeing my latest take on the History of the Basin, the working of the Floodway, some of the changes taking place, and a summary of the preliminary 2011 Flood Report, a PDF file of the presentation slides and my notes are available. Send me an email at foa at basinbuddies dot org to get a copy. (Be warned, it’s not a small file – 42 MB – updated October 31, 2011.)