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October Bank-line Restoration Workshop Recap

On Oct. 24, the TECHE Project joined conservation partners Bayou Vermilion Preservation Association, the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, HDR Foundation and the Acadiana Native Plant Project to conduct a Bank-line Restoration Workshop. Attendees learned about different techniques to restore the bayou bank to benefit water quality, reduce erosion and improve fish and wildlife habitat. The native plants (iris, swamp mallow, cypress, etc.) added to the bank at our Breaux Bridge Trailhead will be a pleasing sight for all to enjoy. Our thanks go out to everyone who helped with this project!

Shake Your Trail Feather Update

Despite the Pandemic and Hurricane Delta we are still a go to do a COVID modified event! There will be a Paddle Parade with Eventbrite registration til midnight on the 14th. If you miss the Eventbrite registration, you can register at Poches on the bank at 9 am for $12. All registrations are for the paddle and include an event pin valued at $5. If you would like to join us at Parc des Ponts to welcome in the paddlers, it is free to attend. Try to make it by 11:30 and please wear a mask. We encourage you to buy our event pin to support the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail. We will be serving lunch, playing zydeco music on a PA system, and selling merchandise. At 1 pm, we will raffle off a $200 gift certificate to Pack and Paddle. The are more details about the event (shuttle service, boat rentals, etc) on our Event Page, so have a look and come join us on the 17th!

Shake Your Trail Feather Festival Becomes Paddle Parade on Oct. 17

We are canceling our full-blown annual Shake Your Trail Feather Festival due to COVID-19 this year, but the “Paddle to the Party” boat parade is becoming the “Paddle IS the Party.” Band Amis du Teche will escort via barge as folks float for a 2-hour paddle from Poche’s Meat Market to Parc des Ponts in Breaux Bridge down beautiful Bayou Teche. When the parade ends in Breaux Bridge, there will be food, a Bird Mask Contest and a 1 p.m. raffle of a $200 gift certificate from Pack and Paddle. Please note that drinks will be BYOB due to COVID-19. 

Check-in is at Poche’s at 9:30 a.m., and the parade is from 10 a.m.-noon. Parade is limited to non-motorized watercraft, and boat/kayak rental is available from Bayou Teche Experience, Pack and Paddle and The Backpacker. A pre-paddle shuttle is also available. More details here.

Registration is limited and available via Eventbrite.

Download Our Bank-line Management Guide

We have produced a Bank-line Management Guide for Bayou Teche Watershed Landowners. This publication was made possible by a grant from the COYPU Foundation. We encourage all landowners along Bayou Teche and the Lower Atchafalaya River to download this guide for FREE.

Living on Louisiana’s only federally designated National Water Trail is a privilege. We believe that the Bayou Teche Watershed should be held to a high standard when it comes to water quality and aesthetic beauty, and we encourage landowners to contribute to and preserve the ecological richness of the waterway in which they live, work and play.

This guide details bank-line restoration techniques and provides insight on appropriate plants and where to acquire them. The guidebook also addresses other landowner concerns such as sewerage treatment, groundwater retention measures and nuisance wildlife control.

We ask that each landowner do their part to contribute to the long-term health of the Bayou Teche Watershed—while also beautifying their own bank-line!

For information on our Bank-line Management Workshops, click here.

Bank-line Restoration Workshop

We will be hosting a Virtual Workshop on Bank-line Restoration and Reviving Resilient Landscapes in partnership with the Acadiana Native Plant Project and Bayou Vermilion Preservation Association on Saturday, May 16. The workshop will be broadcasted from 9-10 a.m. via Facebook Live from the Leonville boat launch. If you are interested in obtaining plants, you can register for FREE on Eventbrite. For registrants, there will be drive-thru plant pickup between 10 and 10:30 a.m.

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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Unveiling of Loreauville Bayou Teche National Water Trail Information Kiosk

The TECHE Project, Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Village of Loreauville will unveil the information kiosk for Loreauville and the Bayou Teche National Water Trail at a special 1 p.m. public ceremony on Tuesday, January 28, at the Loreauville trailhead, 119 Bridge St., Loreauville, La.

Information kiosks will be placed at each of the 16 trailheads along Bayou Teche, the Lower Atchafalaya and Atchafalaya rivers from Port Barre to Berwick. These kiosks will orient water and land trail users to the Bayou Teche and the Lower Atchafalaya and Atchafalaya rivers and present special stories of the 16 trail communities.

This event will also recognize the financial support provided by the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area and the Atchafalaya Trace Commission through the awarding of a $46,000 grant to supplement the sponsorships already provided by families, local governments and businesses for the information kiosks.

In 2015, The TECHE Project received the exceptional designation of “National Water Trail” from the U.S. Department of the Interior National Parks Service program. This recognition is one of 21 such designations in the United States and the only one in Louisiana.

The Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau is currently the primary sponsor for the Loreauville Bayou Teche information kiosk, and the Village of Loreauville, along with all water users, will maintain the floating dock and the kiosk.

Installing the floating docks with federal and state funding and the information kiosks with local sponsorships in the 16 bayou and river towns is a major part of The TECHE Project’s “TECHE Renaissance” initiative comprised of programs to increase the recreational use of the waterways and to enrich boaters’ enjoyment.

“This is the eighth of 16 kiosks to be installed on the 135-mile water trail,” says Conni Castille, executive director of The TECHE Project. “It serves as a model for other water trail towns of what is coming to their community very soon.”

Each information kiosk measures 4 feet wide by 5 1/2 feet tall and holds two panels: an orientation panel and a community panel. The orientation panel depicts a waterway-long map, safety tips and an inset map of each trail town. The community panel presents stories about the locality, the waterway, wildlife and native plants and helpful advice for exploring Bayou Teche and the Atchafalaya corridor.

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!