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Dredging project on Bayou Vermilion aims to restore depth back into its waters

Spot dredging the Vermilion River
Posted at 9:10 AM, Jul 08, 2024

LAFAYETTE, La. — Lafayette Consolidated Government has announced a spot dredging project at Rotary Point that is aimed at restoring depth back to the Vermilion River.

According to our partners at The Advocate, the project involves dredging a 400-foot section of the river, starting 200 feet north of Rotary Point and extending 200 feet south.

What is dredging? To put it simply, it's an underwater excavation process designed to remove sediments or silt from the water. Local residents say this project is long overdue, with some parts of the river now as shallow as one foot.

Kim Hardey has been boating for 65 years and expressed his frustration with the current state of the river.

"For boat riding, the river's got a lot of sandbars. It looks like it's very safe, when you are in one foot of water, so it's easy to get your boat stuck or hurt your motor. There's so many trees down, you are really at risk at riding your boat at full speed because you could hit a log," Hardey says.

Other boaters like Wayne Diagle, who lives along the river, believes the dredging effort will significantly improve navigation and the state of the water.

"At times, it's impassable with a larger boat. I have a bigger boat that I wouldn't bring down the Vermilion right now because this would be a bottle neck," Daigle said. "I think it will increase water flow and improve the water quality."

The project is scheduled to begin on July 8 and is expected to be completed by 2026.