Jan 9, 2014 11:59 AM by AP
OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) - The St. Landry Parish Council is expected to pass a resolution later this month asking the state Legislature to designate Bayou Teche in St. Landry Parish as an official Louisiana Historic and Scenic River.
Woody Martin with the Teche Project tells The Advertiser the state's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is currently studying the bayou to see if it qualifies for the designation, with a determination expected this spring.
Martin said the state's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is currently studying the bayou to see if it qualifies for the designation, with a determination expected this spring.
"If Bayou Teche becomes a Historic and Scenic River, this will increase protection for the waterway and help promote tourism. It will also compliment the work many organizations have embarked on to bring attention and funding to projects on one of the most historic and culturally significant waterways in North America," Martin said.
Port Barre Mayor Gilfred Savoy called the designation important and expects his own council to endorse the effort as well.
"It is a great thing. Bayou Teche is very special to us," said Savoy, whose town is the official birthplace of Bayou Teche.
"Many people don't realize how scenic the bayou is. You will see things on the bayou you won't see anywhere else," Savoy said.
The bayou has been gaining a great deal of attention in the past few years, most recently having its entire 134-mile length from Port Barre to Patterson being named a national paddle trail. To make that trail a reality, the Center for Louisiana Studies with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette recently received an $83,447 grant from the Federal Highway Administration to build eight floating docks along its length, complete with access ramps and other amenities.