Bayou Teche gets “face-lift” for upcoming events.

(Loreauville, La) Volunteers from the Village of Loreauville partnered with the TECHE Project this past weekend to spruce up the banks of the Bayou Teche in preparation for visitors coming from around the country to take part in multiple events around the area. The bayou will host the 6th annual Tour du Teche canoe and kayak race and the weeklong Grand Reveil Acadien ceremony commemorating the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the Acadians in the Atakapa region. Residents can cheer on as paddlers zip by on October 2, 3, and 4th or participate in a ceremony that will take place on Thursday, October 8th on the banks of the bayou where the future home of the Acadian Odyssey Park will be located in Loreauville.

Mayor Brad Clifton of Loreauville was on hand to aide in the bayou side cleanup. “We were able to remove 4 trailer loads of invasive trees, brush, and debris blocking the public’s view of the historic Bayou Teche, we wanted to clean up so our residents can enjoy a little bit of the bayou and help to keep the way it needs to be,” Clifton said.

Dane Thibodeaux of the TECHE Project, who coordinated the effort with Mayor Clifton, said, “It is always a great feeling when volunteers come out and give up a bit of their time to preserve the most culturally and historically significant bayou in Louisiana.” Thibodeaux wants to remind all residents to do their part to help #KeepItClean. “If you see something out there, that shouldn’t be there, do your part and pick it up. It is all our responsibility to protect our waterways,” Thibodeaux said.

The Teche Ecology, Culture, and History Education (TECHE) Project, is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization whose mission it is to improve the Bayou Teche watershed health. They work to raise awareness of the bayous cultural and historical values, as well as, promoting low-impact recreation and nature-based tourism along the Bayou Teche. Since 2009, this group has successfully removed over 50 tons of garbage and debris with the help of community leaders and volunteers. The TECHE Project also led community planning with the National Park Service, which resulted in Bayou Teche being designated as 1 of 18 National Water Trails by the U.S. Department of the Interior. “We are doing some really good things for the bayou, but none of it would be possible without the help of community leaders and volunteers who come out and support us,” Thibodeaux added.

Mayor Brad Clifton wants to encourage residents to do their part and is extending an invite to those interesting in helping out this weekend for a village wide cleanup. “We will be cleaning the streets of trash and debris to show off to our visitors how great our community is,” Clifton said.

For more information on how you can support the TECHE Project or participate in future bayou cleanups you can visit www.techeproject.org or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter @techeproject. To report trash or invasive species on your section of Bayou Teche please contact Dane Thibodeaux at techeproject@gmail.com