The Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District recently completed a project that removed 12 large derelict vessels from Bayou Lafourche.
Through an Intergovernmental Agreement, the Bayou Lafourche Derelict Vessel Removal project was funded by the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District and Lafourche Parish Government in an effort to improve the water quality and provide a safer waterway for recreational users.
A total of 12 boats between the Hwy. 182 bridge in Raceland and the Intracoastal Canal in Larose were carefully removed and discarded. In addition to the boats being safely removed, several hundred gallons of diesel within the vessels were syphoned and discarded by the U.S. Coast Guard. The work was completed by Couvillion Group LLC, well before the deadline and within budget.
“We are happy to have completed this project which creates a safer and cleaner waterway for recreational and commercial users,” said Ben Malbrough, Executive Director of the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District. “This undertaking was just one project in our plan to revitalize Bayou Lafourche, and we are excited to continue our work. We are very appreciative of Lafourche Parish Government initiating the project, and a huge thanks to Bollinger Shipyards for their partnership in helping make this project happen.”
Bollinger Shipyards played a critical role in the project’s progress by providing a bayou-side staging area at their Lockport facility.
“I would like to thank the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District, Friends of Bayou Lafourche, and the Lafourche Parish Council for spearheading this endeavor,” said Archie Chaisson III, Lafourche Parish President. “We all know what an asset Bayou Lafourche is to our Parish and anyway we can partner with other organizations to beautify it is a win win for Lafourche.”
Friends of Bayou Lafourche’s Executive Director, Ryan Perque, stated, “The completion of this project is a major step forward for Bayou Lafourche. Not only were these vessel aesthetic eyesores, but also they were dangerous. We’ve heard stories of individuals striking some of these submerged vessels, so it is great to know that our bayou us much safer. We applaud the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District, Lafourche Parish Government, and Bollinger Shipyards on their partnership which made this undertaking possible.”
Friends of Bayou Lafourche Inc. was formed by several concerned community members and the Bayou Lafourche Freshwater District in 2016 and is recognized as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The mission of FOBL is to raise the awareness of the importance of Bayou Lafourche and its revitalization, through education outreach, and beautification on the bayou.
The Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District has taken steps to prevent future abandoning of vessels/boats/ships through an ordinance holds owners responsible for the removal. The bayou will be inspected quarterly for abandoned vessels and other obstructions, said Malbrough. Residents are encouraged to contact the BLFWD at 985-447-7155 if they observe dumping and/or derelict vessels in the bayou. •