Bayou Teche trash bash Saturday

by Mary Tutwiler

Activist Blake Couvillion is riding a wave of enthusiasm in his efforts to clean up Bayou Teche. For over a year now he has been captaining a growing effort in three parishes, St. Landry, St. Martin and Iberia, to rid the waterway of surface trash and underwater obstacles.

Saturday, May 8, Couvillion's group, Cajuns for Bayou Teche, along with the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission, St. Landry Parish Government, St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Department, St. Landry Parish Solid Waste, the town of Port Barre, Port Barre Volunteer Fire Department, Port Barre Lions Club, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Acadiana RC and D will join together in a cooperative effort to clean up the bayou in St. Landry parish. Volunteers are asked to bring motorboats, kayaks and canoes to help.  Volunteers without boats are encouraged to attend to help unloading boats as they come in. St. Landry Parish Government will provide a grapple truck to move collected debris into containers. Lunch will be provided by St. Landry Tourist Commission in the Port Barre Lion's Club facility near the boat launch.

"We are excited so many residents and organizations have stepped forward to address this problem. St. Landry Tourist Commission has been instrumental in pulling Port Barre together for May 8," says Couvillion. "We have litter, dumps, erosion problems and trees obstructing the bayou causing underwater sediment dams to build up. We're going to get at these problems one at a time with the help of residents, private companies, municipalities, parish governments and state agencies. We're all in this together and the clean-up in Port Barre is an exceptional example of how well we can work as a team!"

The trash bashing flotilla launches from the Bayou Courtableau boat launch in Port Barre at 9 a.m., Saturday, May 8, work will continue until 3 p.m. For more information, call Blake Couvillion at 230-8596.