April 7, 2016
Dear TECHE Project Members:
We write to update you on the oil spill on Bayou Teche near Charenton, approximately situated at mile 87of its 135 miles (roughly 5 miles south of Jeanerette, and 9 miles north of Baldwin, and 4 miles north of the Chitimacha boat landing).
Since the incident a week ago, we have been monitoring the situation and gathering information. Our Board member, Jimmy Gravois of Metal Shark, lives one mile downstream from the spill and has been in constant communication with Parish officials. Metal Shark’s Franklin shipyard is providing a staging area for clean-up crews.
In addition to communicating with municipal and Parish governments, we are also in conversation with the Chitimacha Tribe Council in Charenton, located XX miles downstream from the spill, to address its questions and concerns, including preserving its healthy drinking water supply and its archeological treasures.
TECHE Project is a member of LEAN (Louisiana Environmental Action Network). LEAN is providing us consultations with its expert staff, including Chemist Wilma Subra, in monitoring the present and future impact on the Teche’s water, plants, and animals in the effected area.
We will continue to monitor the spill and will send updates as more information becomes available. A town meeting with Dr. Subra is under consideration to disseminate information and to address questions from residents regarding health, clean water, and preventive measures to keep something like this from happening again, anywhere along the bayou.
Although eight miles of the Teche near Charenton are closed at this time, on a positive note, the rest of the Teche is open for paddling and boating! We encourage you to get out there and remember why the Teche is worthy of our stewardship.
Thank you for your membership and support. With your help, we are able to grow our programming, including monitoring the ecological environment of our national water trail. The value of our work, sadly, is reinforced during times like these.