CWPPRA Outreach at the Leeville Art & Heritage Festival

On April 1st residents of Lafourche Parish and places farther afield had a sunny and windy day to celebrate the 4th Annual Leeville Art & Heritage Festival in Golden Meadow, LA. Organized by Launch Leeville, this festival works to highlight changes in the landscape and community around Leeville as processes like subsidence, erosion, and sea level rise convert land to water. Staff from the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act, and other exhibitors such as the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, were present to talk about the causes of land loss and options for protecting and restoring what remains. In addition to live music, craft vendors, and a shrimp boulette competition, festival-goers could learn about coastal restoration projects, see Houma basket weaving demonstrations, and participate in a fishing rodeo.

Leeville sits along Bayou Lafourche and Louisiana Rt. 1, two geographic features that have witnessed a number of CWPPRA projects, from the West Belle Pass Headland Restoration (TE-23) project, which created new marsh and stabilized shorelines to the south of Port Fourchon, to the GIWW to Clovelly Hydrologic Restoration (BA-02) project, which increased freshwater availability to prevent higher salinity levels which could damage local vegetation. Another CWPPRA project, East Leeville Marsh Creation and Nourishment (BA-194), is currently in engineering & design and would provide increased southeastern protection for Leeville from weather and tides. Preserving the livelihoods and heritage of small communities like Leeville requires both protecting their physical setting and giving them the time and space to develop strategies for a changing future.

Bayou Vermilion Festival & Boat Parade

BVD signThe Bayou Vermilion District hosted its 5th Annual Bayou Vermilion Festival and Boat Parade on Sunday, May 15th at Vermilionville in Lafayette, Louisiana. This community-based event invites the public to participate by celebrating the Vermilion River as a viable source of recreation for Lafayette and surrounding areas, as well as further the awareness of the Bayou Vermilion District’s efforts along the Vermilion River.

Whether dropping off a water craft at the Vermilionville starting launch or setting up to watch the parade flow along, the Bayou Vermilion Festival offered a large variety of crafts and activities for festival goers to participate in. Face painting, yoga, and kid crafts were among the activities offered alongside the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act’s wetland table. The CWPPRA Public Outreach staff connected the importance of a healthy river ecosystem to the significance of flourishing, active wetland environments by discussing similar animal species which reside and rely on both habitats. Various CWPPRA publications, stickers, coloring sheets, and a chance to play Wetland Jeopardy were provided to the public by the CWPPRA outreach staff.

Paddlers, boat lovers, and parade watchers alike were welcomed to kick off the boat parade with a celebratory toast by the 2016 Boat Parade Grand Marshal, Project Front Yard. The parade continued from Vermilionville and ended at the Camellia Bridge Launch with live music by Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole.