2017 Volunteer of the Year

We are proud to announce our 2017 Volunteer of the Year, Chad Markerson. Chad was born and raised on the Bayou Teche in Franklin, Louisiana. He has many fond memories growing up on the Teche. Since he was 5 years old he would crank up his grandmothers 2 horse Evanrude and go for boat rides. As he got older, the boat engines got a little bigger as Chad began to enjoy fishing and hunting. Chad is currently fixing up that same boat to give to his nephew.

When his mom and dad were not particularly getting along, Chad’s dad would put him in the boat to go and stay at the camp. The next day at school, wearing his mud boots, Chad would puff out his chest and brag about getting to school by boat. It was a long time before Chad understood that “being in the dog house” was a bad thing. To this day Chad, wearing his mud boots, will puff out his chest and slide up to a bar stool at Lil’s because it’s still more fun when you get there by boat.

Chad has found his way back to the Bayou Teche and lives between Breaux Bridge and Parks. Chad owns his own Pest Control Company where he is a dedicated beekeeper. Chad has a great appreciation for living on the Bayou and it doesn’t take much to coax him into a boat ride. In fact, anyone who has been on a boat ride with Chad knows his dedication to “keeping it clean”. If approaching a floating tire, refrigerator, or bag of trash he gives an impromptu rant on the lackings of humanity. In the small spaces between explicatives there is no room for doubt that Chad is passionate about keeping the Bayou Teche clean. So don’t wear your good shoes in the boat with Chad. You may be sharing the boat with old bottles, broken ice chests, and slimy trash.

-From all of us at the TECHE Project Thank you for everything you do to keep our beautiful Bayou Teche Clean!

2017 TECHE Project Membership Banquet

Saturday, January 28th

6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Sliman Theater

129 East Main Street

New Iberia, Louisiana

 

BOATS of the BAYOU

 

wood boat

 

Presentation by Dr. Ray Brassieur and a short film entitled In The Mind of the Maker by C.E. Richard

Local wooden boats including Teche Craft will be on display. An aluminum pirogue crafted by Jimmy Gravois will be raffled.

 

All Current Members Free

Not a Member? Join at the door!

Food, beverages, and entertainment provided

 

 

 

TECHE Project Recipiant of Louisiana’s 2016 Cox Conserves Hero Award

Baton Rouge (Nov. 3, 2016) — Cox Communications, in partnership with The Trust for Public Land, presented $20,000 through their Louisiana’s 2016 Cox Conserves Hero program which honors volunteers in Cox’s service areas in Acadiana, Baton Rouge and New Orleans who are creating, preserving or enhancing outdoor spaces. 
  
Finalists Barrett Kennedy and wife Peggy, advocates for Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, present a check for $5,000 to Dane Thibodeaux of the TECHE Project to continue the mission to enhance the nationally recognized Bayou Teche Paddle Trail.
 
The Cox Conserves Heroes program was created through a partnership between The Trust for Public Land and Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Cox Communications. Cox Conserves Heroes takes place in Arizona, California, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington.

Jimmy Gravois Reunion

Watch this heartfelt video of on of our own Jimmy Gravois reunite with the paramedics that saved his life after a near fatal boating accident. We are so grateful for the men that found him and their quick action to call 911. We appreciate the hard work by the paramedics to make sure that Mr. Jimmy was okay and comfortable on the way to the Air Med. We love you Jimmy! We wouldn’t be the same without you.

Cox Announces Finalists for Louisiana’s 2016 Cox Conserves Heroes Awards Program

 
Public asked to vote; $20,000 to be donated to environmental nonprofits
 
Baton Rouge (Aug. 31, 2016) — Cox Communications, in partnership with The Trust for Public Land, today announced Barrett Kennedy, Rory McCracken and Libby Nehrbass as the finalists for Louisiana’s 2016 Cox Conserves Heroes program. Voting is open through September 21 at CoxConservesHeroes.com.
 
The program honors volunteers in Cox’s service areas in Acadiana, Baton Rouge and New Orleans who are creating, preserving or enhancing outdoor spaces.  A total of $20,000 will be donated to environmental nonprofits on behalf of the winner and finalists.
 
Baton Rouge’s Barrett Kennedy comes from a family with a strong commitment to community service. He is a state advocate for Leave No Trace Behind, a group that teaches people how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. Through this work, he teaches people of all ages, particularly children, the importance of respecting their surroundings and preserving public land. His nonprofit of choice is The Teche Project.
 
Baton Rouge’s Rory McCracken is passionate about Louisiana’s gulf and its marine life. At only 17, he’s spent nearly half his life leading the charge to conserve and protect. He’s designed t-shirts and written books to raise awareness, as well as donated the proceeds to help benefit restoration and conservation efforts. One beneficiary of his support is Audubon Louisiana’s Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue program. His nonprofit of choice is Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF).
 
Lafayette’s Libby Nehrbass is an advocate for coastal restoration. She’s participated in more than 30 volunteer events and volunteered more than 240 hours to help plant dune grass, participate in marsh plantings and support forest restorations. She travels across the state to the different types of coastal habitats that all require different methods of restoration. She’s personally planted more than 10,000 plugs of dune grass in Cameron Parish. Her nonprofit of choice is Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.
 
Patrick Armstrong, Matt Thomas, Bart Everson and Jenga Mwendo are Louisiana’s previous Cox Conserves Heroes. Combined these volunteers have removed nearly 10 tons of litter from New Orleans’ public outdoor spaces, preserved Baton Rouge’s lake system, created a non-motorized transportation trail and transformed an overgrown lot into a beautiful centerpiece for the community.
 
The Cox Conserves Heroes program was created through a partnership between The Trust for Public Land and Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Cox Communications. Cox Conserves Heroes takes place in Arizona, California, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington.
 
For more information, visit CoxConservesHeroes.com or Facebook.
 
Social Media: #CoxConservesHeroes and #CoxConservesHero

Boat Procession Cancelled

 

***BREAKING***
Due to heavy rains causing Bayou Teche to swell, the boat part of procession is now cancelled. The Bishop will be in Leonville for Mass at 8 am as long as roads are open which they are expected to be. Exposition and Rosary as normal at scheduled times along with confessions as planned, but in the Churches (St. Francis Regis, St. Joseph, Borel Center, St. Joseph in Parks, Notre Dame, Etc. Foot procession at end in St. Martinville pending no rain.

Fr. Michael Champagne, CJC
Community of Jesus Crucified

First Trailhead on the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail

First Trailhead on the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail

The first Bayou Teche Paddle Trail trailhead will be opened to the public on August 18th, at 11:00 a.m. during a Dedication Ceremony at Parc du Ponts in downtown Breaux Bridge (100 St. Bernard Street).

The paddle trail is the centerpiece of The TECHE Project’s EXPLORE It, one three facets of TECHE Renaissance vision that builds a nature-based economy on the Teche corridor. “The trailhead is the beginning of infrastructure that supports the paddle trail and builds heritage tourism through low-impact recreation,” says Brent Miller, Grant Administrator and Council Member with The TECHE Project, the organization managing the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail. “We are working hard to put a trailhead in each Trail Town along the Bayou Teche and Lower Atchafalaya River.” In January 2015, the non-profit organization successfully applied to get Bayou Teche Paddle Trail added to the National Water Trails System, a first for Louisiana. Designation as a national water trail placed the Teche in an elite group of rivers across the nation.

The new trailhead increases access for paddlers and provides such amenities as restrooms, water fountains, and places to lock up boats. By situating the trailhead in the downtown area, paddlers have walking access to provisions, lodging, restaurants, and dancehalls. “This trailhead facility is a welcome addition to the City of Breaux Bridge, and we are excited to be a partner in building the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail”, says Breaux Bridge Mayor Ricky Calais.

The trailhead was supported by a grant from the Federal Highways Administration’s (FHWA) Recreational Trails Program administered through the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism (DCRT). According to Michael W. Domingue, the FHWA Recreational Trails Program Administrator for Louisiana, “This outstanding National Paddle Trail provides a unique opportunity for recreationalists to explore the beauty and culture of south Louisiana by way of a water trail. The TECHE Project has done a great job of showcasing Bayou Teche and providing access to it for the people of Louisiana and our many visitors.” Other partners that worked to make this trailhead a reality include St. Martin Parish Tourism, Angelle Architects, Edward Cazayoux, The City of Breaux Bridge, TRAIL, and Nature’s Link.  

More information about the dedication and the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail can be found at www.techeproject.org or by calling 337-441-BYOU(2968).

Village of Parks latest to receive donated trash can

Mayor Kevin Katley accepts a new trashcan, sponsored by Kenny and JoAnne LeCompte, donated to the Villiage of Parks, through the efforts of Kris and Johnny Deviller of Nature’s Link and The TECHE Project.

The Village of Parks is the latest Trail Town community to receive a donated trash can to increase awareness of the importance to protect the Bayou Teche National Water Trail. This initiative is part of the TECHE Project’s community-driven vision to embrace the Teche and restore it to its natural beauty, while building a nature-based economy.  Kris and Johnny Devillier, of Nature’s Link in Breaux Bridge, have partnered with the TECHE Project to install trash cans throughout the 15 trail communities located on the Bayou Teche. “We started in Breaux Bridge to help build awareness to keep our town and water way clean, now we hope to expand to all communities along the Teche,” says Kris Devillier of Nature’s Link. This past spring, the TECHE Project partnered with Project Front Yard-St. Martin, Keep Louisiana Beautiful, and The Villiage of Parks to host a beautification project of the Cecile Rousseau Poche Memorial Park. During that event volunteers were able to paint and repair playground equipment and remove 1.2 tons of garbage from the Bayou Teche. This new trash can, sponsored by Kenny and JoAnne LeCompte, will serve as a reminder to visitors to leave no trace when enjoying the park. Mayor Kevin Kately was there to accept the newest addition to the Parks boat launch;  “We appreciate Nature’s Link and the TECHE Project for their efforts to keep our park and bayou clean.” Mayor Kately says, “now our boaters have a proper place to throw away their trash, instead of maybe throwing it on the ground.”   Over the past 8 years the TECHE Project has been able to remove over 50 tons of garbage from the Bayou Teche through volunteer efforts. Dane Thibodeaux Bayou Operations Coordinator of the TECHE project says to, “stash your trash.” “Simple things like the placement of a trashcan in high traffic areas will have a positive impact and reduce damaging our most precious resource,” Thibodeaux says. Nature’s Link and the TECHE Project are urging community members and businesses to “leave their mark” by sponsoring one of these trash cans. “The trash cans are $350 and will have a plaque with your name or in memory of a loved one.” Devillier says. If you are interested in being a sponsor, you can contact the TECHE Project at techeproject@gmail.com or Nature’s Link at natureslink@cox.net To keep up with all things Bayou Teche please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @techeproject.
 

 

Now is the Time to Register your Boat!  Click here to download the Regulations and Waiver Form.  
Read thoroughly, complete forms, sign waivers, scan, and mail or email to fetedieuduteche@gmail.com
Only 50 boats will be allowed, so register now!

Loreauville Newest Trail Town to Receive Floating Canoe/Kayak Dock

Photo credit: Tony Broussard

Loreauville, LA —

The Village of Loreauville is the latest Trail Town community to receive a floating kayak and canoe launch to increase access to the Bayou Teche National Water Trail. The dock is part of the TECHE Project’s community-driven vision to enhance the quality of life for trail communities by turning to the bayou and lower Atchafalaya River to build a nature-based economy.

“Coming to Loreauville by boat seems natural. It’s how our ancestors arrived here 250-years ago,” says Loreauville Mayor Brad Clifton. “We look forward to welcoming paddlers, both locals and visitors, to experience our hospitality and culture.”

The new dock sits at 118 Bridge Street, next to the historic jailhouse, and is the first phase of the Al Broussard Commemorative Park. In honor of the late Mayor Al Broussard, the stunning park design by Architect and Loreauville native Joel Breaux celebrates the journey of the founding Acadians and honors those who perished along the way. “The Al Broussard Commemorative Park features a symbolic representation of the Acadians, their journey and resilience,” describes Breaux. “It simultaneously includes key elements such as the Acadian Odyssey, one of only four in the world.”

“As part of our EXPLORE It program, locals and visitors learn about the ecology of a region through the biography of its people, by boat,” says Conni Castille, Executive Director of TECHE Project, the Water Trail Managers. “We partner with Trail Town communities turning to the bayou to integrate the Trailheads that support the National Paddle Trail. Loreauville is a perfect example of that partnership.”

TECHE Project is a local 501c3 non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to celebrating and continuing the river’s legacy through recreational, historical and ecological values of Bayou Teche and Lower Atchafalaya River communities. With parish and municipal governments, businesses, and community support, it successfully put Bayou Teche and the Lower Atchafalaya River on the list of National Water Trails from the National Park Service in 2015. It is one of only twenty-one nationally recognized trails in the country. Leveraging this designation with the fifteen Trail Towns along the trail’s corridor helps build a nature-based economy.

“The dock is an effort to enhance a paddler’s experience to support the national water trail,” says Brent Miller, TECHE Project Council Member. The dock was funded by a grant from the US department of Transportation through the State’s Recreational Trails Program with the Office of State Parks, and support of TECHE Project and University of Louisiana at Lafayette. “The plan is to put additional docks placed in each of the four parishes along the Water Trail,” adds Miller.

Each dock is accessible by an ADA assessable gangway to encourage people of all ability levels to enjoy paddling. With two overhead assist bars, the dock provides stability and security for canoes and kayaks

With the help of local, parish, state, and federal agencies, since its inception in 2008, the TECHE Project has removed over 50 tons of garbage and invasive species, earned recognition as a National Paddle Trail and National Water Trail, fostered a world renowned paddle race with the Tour du Teche, and offers workshops on bank line management and wood duck habitat, initiated a wood duck box mile marker program, and each October hosts the free Shake Your Trail Feather Festival with live music, folklife workshops, and bike/float to the festival event all to promote and raise money for the paddle trail. For more information, to donate, or to volunteer you can visit www.techeproject.org or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @techeproject.