BVPA Visionary Water Symposium 2016

The Bayou Vermilion Preservation Association (BVPA) is an organization which creates awareness of our natural environment by providing education and outreach to the general community about ways to conserve, protect and enjoy the Bayou Vermilion Watershed. The BVPA hosts an annual festival to commemorate and celebrate the Vermilion River as a cherished working river which contributes to Lafayette and Vermilion parish by confluences of small bayous in St. Mary and St. Landry parish. The theme of BVPA’s 3rd Annual Water Weekend on the Vermilion was “Backyard to the Bayou” which included a visionary water symposium directed toward understanding your role as the general public in the preservation of the river.

This year, the BVPA worked toward answering the question on many resident’s minds-How can we best inform and involve the community in preserving the bayou? In an attempt to answer this question, the water symposium discussed opportunities and threats for the Bayou Vermilion by presenting a series of distinguished speakers. Speakers include Peter Mayeux, owner of All Seasons Nursery and Landscaping, who spoke on ideas for best management practices on an individual’s property, followed by Rusty Ruckstuhl, landscape architect with Grassroots Landscaping, who discussed ideas and concepts of homeowner water management irrigation and drainage. ┬áMichael Cullen, landscape architect with Land Architecture, LLC.; Pamela Gonzales Grainger, landscape engineer with Macbad Engineers; as well as Jeff Foshee and Teddy Beaullieu, Southern Lifestyle Development, each discussed relevant topics of their field for considerations toward sustainable community development. John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, and Brad Klamer, New Orleans Sewage and Water Board, each gave insight into current successful projects in their respective regions, followed by Donald Sagrera, Teche-Vermilion Water District; David Cheramie, Bayou Vermilion District; and Bess Foret, Lafayette Consolidated Government, who discussed management of the bayou. The 3rd annual visionary water symposium closed with a panel discussion including Bess Foret, Michael Cullen, Pamela Gonzales Grainger, and Daniel Didier, where views were exchanged on how to involve the community in preserving the Bayou Vermilion.

The Coastal Wetland Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act’s Public Outreach staff attended the symposium and distributed various informational publications to symposium attendees.

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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.