The Teche Ecology, Culture and History Education Project started in 2008 in St. Landry Parish and, after more than a decade, has now become what we call a “Teche Renaissance.” Our nonprofit organization has grown to include more than 400 individuals passionate about making Bayou Teche a healthier waterway for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, tubing and even swimming! Along with aesthetics and recreation, we advocate for improved water quality in the Bayou Teche watershed through the reduction of non-point source pollution.
Bayou Teche is on the federal list of impaired waterways because it cannot support fish and wildlife propagation. By reducing pollution, mainly sewage and run-off, we can help restore this habitat. We are working to make Bayou Teche whole again through action and education about its ecology, culture and history.
Our work as a nonprofit focuses on three ideas: ENRICH It, EXPLORE It and EMBRACE It. We are working to improve the overall ecological health and water quality of the Bayou Teche corridor, enhance travelers’ experiences with facilities that ease access and navigation of the bayou, and celebrate Bayou Teche with personal experiences, programs and events.
What started with a small group of people in Arnaudville as an effort to pull debris from the bayou has become a movement championed by communities and volunteers. Volunteer crews have worked to pull nearly 54 tons of garbage from the bayou. We have also worked with folks in St. Mary Parish to pull exotic water hyacinth out of the bayou. We hold public cleanups regularly and encourage volunteers with motorboats, kayaks and canoes to join us.
The TECHE Project has relationships with Tour Du Teche, the Kiwanis Club of Breaux Bridge, Pack and Paddle, Bayou Teche Experience, Bayou Teche Brewery, Bayou Vermilion District, Arnaudville area and Breaux Bridge Chambers of Commerce, St. Landry and St. Martin Parish governments and sheriffs, as well as many of the towns and cities along Bayou Teche.
We welcome new programing related to the ecology, culture or history of Bayou Teche. Drop us an email if you are interested in learning how you can create and direct a program about Bayou Teche. The Teche is one of the most historically and culturally significant bayous in Acadiana, and we are working to ensure it is protected and celebrated for generations to come.
Check out Historian and Archivist Shane Bernard’s blog logging his research for his book about the Teche: http://bayoutechedispatches.blogspot.com.