Year of the Gulf

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The Gulf of Mexico Alliance has recognized 2020 as the “Year to Embrace the Gulf” and acknowledge the Gulf of Mexico’s importance to the nation. The Gulf of Mexico is bordered by five Gulf Coast states: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas; and the Gulf region contributes to the nation’s economy, security, energy, environment, heritage, beauty, diversity, and resilience.

The Gulf of Mexico’s watershed covers more than half of the continental United States, and the Mississippi River drains more than one-third of the nation. This watershed is characterized with diverse flora and fauna, provides food, shelter and habitat to marine and estuarine organisms, shorebirds, waterfowl and wildlife, and the Gulf Coast supports our nation’s seafood industry through commercial fishing. The Gulf also provides recreational adventures, such as sailing, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding and fishing.

The TECHE Project is proud to be a part of this important initiative. The Bayou Teche Paddle Trail runs 135 miles through four parishes and connects with the Gulf of Mexico through the Lower Atchafalaya River. It has a total of 13 established access points that provide access to paddle trips as short as 7 miles or as long as its 135 miles. Each town along the Teche offers its own personality and experiences that include architecture, agriculture, foodways, music and arts.

Likewise, the Gulf Coast region is one of the most culturally diverse regions in the nation with millions of residents tracing their heritage to Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, and the Gulf Coast embraces a variety of traditions and invokes a strong sense of place. It also plays a vital role in our nation’s defense and aerospace exploration; moreover, it is crucial to oil, gas and energy production, as well as import and export trade.

Gulf Coast tourism generates hundreds of billions of dollars each year, and if the Gulf area were a country, our economy would rank among the top 10 worldwide. By increasing awareness of the Gulf of Mexico’s many treasures and limitless value, we ensure a sustainable future.

Please help us in embracing the Gulf—and Bayou Teche—throughout 2020!

2019 Annual Report of The TECHE Project

Each year, in conjunction with our Annual Membership Banquet, we issue an Annual Report summarizing our efforts for the previous year. Click the link below to download our 2019 Annual Report.

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You’re Invited to our Membership Banquet Jan. 25

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Wood Duck Management Workshop Jan. 18

Kramer-WoodDuckBoxesThe beautiful wood duck is a common and enjoyable sight along Louisiana’s bayous, however, they weren’t always so common. Only a few decades ago, wood duck numbers were down due to a lack of nesting habitat. Artificial nesting boxes have enabled the wood duck to become commonplace and have ensured their viability for all to enjoy. The best part of this success story is that anyone can help continue the wood duck’s legacy. It’s really not that hard to raise wood ducks yourself. All you need is water, brood cover and a proper nesting box. If you’d like to learn about how you can raise wood ducks and help ensure that the wood duck population stays commonplace in Louisiana’s waterways, come join The TECHE Project at their annual Wood Duck Management Workshop.

This year’s workshop will take place at the Shadows-on-the-Teche Visitor Center (across the street from the plantation home) in New Iberia from 9:30 a.m.-noon on Saturday, January 18. The workshop is held just in time to get your wood duck nest boxes installed for the spring nesting season, and the New Iberia location is optimal as there is ample habitat in the area for wood duck nesting. The workshop will start with a general ecology discussion of wood ducks by Patti Holland, TECHE Project council member and retired biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Council Member Brent Miller and his daughter Adeline will discuss their firsthand experience and guidance from many years of rearing wood ducks on the banks of Bayou Teche. Also, TECHE Project Wood Duck Program participant Scott Albarado will share his technical knowledge on how to set up cameras that film wood duck nesting inside the box and the chicks fledging on jump day.

Wood duck boxes will be available for purchase at the workshop. Those who live on Bayou Teche can join our group of more than 50 participants from mile 1 to mile 132 that are doing their part to raise wood duck numbers on Bayou Teche. Last year alone, we reared more than 350 wood duck chicks on the bayou! Participants in our Bayou Teche Wood Duck Program also get a free Bayou Teche Paddle Trail Sign for their wood duck box displaying the mileage of their spot on the bayou. According to Holland, “This workshop is a great opportunity for those living near Bayou Teche to be part of the ecological improvement of the watershed, while at the same time enjoying the fruits of their labor as they watch young birds emerge from their boxes.”

Bayou Teche property owners are the target audience, but anyone who is interested in raising wood ducks will benefit from this workshop. Attendance is free for TECHE Project members and $5 for others. Those who would like to help support The TECHE Project and all of the great things happening on the bayou can also choose to apply the admission fee to the purchase of a TECHE Project membership and become part of the Bayou Teche Renaissance. Together, we are doing great things on the bayou!

Support Us for Giving Tuesday & Through the Holiday Season

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For many families and their traditions, the Bayou Teche is important this time of year. Please consider supporting our efforts and making a positive difference for the good of Louisiana’s most historic and culturally significant waterway by making a donation for GIVING TUESDAY ON DEC. 3. Your tax-deductible contribution can be in any amount you choose or you can become a member of The TECHE Project.

We work with your support to increase the use and stewardship of the Bayou Teche. As with our first 10 years in operation, The TECHE Project succeeds with the charitable support and memberships of individuals, families, businesses and organizations of the 135-mile waterway corridor and beyond. With your support, we are installing more floating docks and 16 new information kiosks; providing educational programs; collecting over 50 tons of trash to date; and engaging visitors and residents with our treasured natural, recreational, historic, scenic and cultural resource.

Your donations and memberships help us to continue these projects, which are vital to the use and health of the Bayou Teche. Just click the “Support” tab at the top of the page to see our different levels for giving and membership options.

In addition, the Bayou Teche Information Kiosks planned for Loreauville, Jeanerette, Charenton, Baldwin, Centerville and Berwick still offer opportunities for full sponsorships ($7,500) or co-sponsorships ($2,500). Please contact David Dahlquist at 515 326-1593 or ddahlquist@outlook.com for more information about this once-in-a-decade opportunity.

Happy Holidays to you and your family, and thanks for your continued support of The TECHE Project!