Bayou Lafourche Initiative
The Bayou Lafourche Watershed is located in south central Louisiana between the Barataria and Terrebonne basins. Bayou Lafourche flows through Ascension, Assumption and Lafourche Parishes emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. It is the source for drinking water to over 300,000 citizens in a five-parish area. Louisiana's Nonpoint Source Assessment Report indicates that Bayou Lafourche is only partially meeting its designated public uses. Nearby land uses such as crop production, as well as urban runoff and sewage contamination contribute pollutants such as pesticides, nutrients, organic enrichment, suspended solids and pathogens into the stagnant stream. A lack of sufficient flow allows salt laden waters to reach central Bayou Lafourche communities and water intake systems. On the southern end of the stream, subsidence and wetland deterioration are serious and widespread problems.
This initiative will focus public attention on the importance of Bayou Lafourche as a cultural lifeline and as the mainstream of the environmental health of the entire Bayou Lafourche community. It will concentrate on linking existing heritage-based efforts, as well as ecological restoration efforts along the bayou, into an interactive alliance. The initiative will strengthen the effectiveness and knowledge base of each group, enhancing the public capacity to support and sustain the bayou and the surrounding environmental community. In addition, the initiative will create a long-term commitment to solving complex water resource problems through partnerships with federal, state and private cooperation.