Earth Day Cleanup Day 22 Apr. 2023
I know, it's almost a commercial shot. T Nicholls State University Biology Department sponsored the cleanup of Bayou Lafourche.

Earth Day Cleanup Day 22 Apr. 2023

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Earth Day Cleanup Day Is For Being Aware

This past Saturday 22 Apr. 2023 was Earth day. Earth day has been around for several decades now, and is for awareness of what we are doing to our planet. This Saturday it was brought down to a local level here in Lafourche Parish. The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program and Nicholls State University Biology Department teamed up for a Cleanup Bayou Lafourche day. I was fortunate enough to have been able to document the efforts of everyone involved in cleaning up our bayou.

Cleanup of Bayou Lafourche
NSUB BTNEP Lockport VFD having to tow this partially sunk boat backwards because all the water in the front would make the boat go side to side while towing.

Surviving Off The Bayou

Everyone that lives on or near Bayou Lafourche directly or indirectly survives because of the bayou. Whether they be shrimpers, crew boat members supplying the oil rigs, workers at Bollinger’s building USCG boats, or employees of the Galliano Walmart we all survive and thrive because of Bayou Lafourche. Yet the bayou is slowly being destroyed by litter, which is why these cleanup days are so important.

Cleanup of Bayou Lafourche
BTNEP cleanup day. One of the boats returning to the Lockport VFD. Loaded down with trash from Bayou Lafourche.

Not Just Local

Perhaps one of the most disturbing things for me, as a Texan, is that it’s not just locals that litter. I went with the Lockport Volunteer Fire Department to pull 2 abandon boats from Bayou Lafourche and put them in a dumpster to be hauled away. The Lockport Police Department had dragged these boats from where they were blocking a pump to the Lockport Bayouside Park for us to remove them. What was so disturbing for me, was that one was registered in Texas. That means a fellow Texan contributed to the destruction of the bayou. That boat probably leaked toxic chemicals (fuel, oil, etc.) into the bayou creating more damage to wildlife and the environment.

Cleanup of Bayou Lafourche
NSUB BTNEP Lockport VFD Retrieving a partially sunk boat at the Lockport Bayouside Park. Seaweed? Hanging off the boat blocks most of the registration, but what is visible show it’s from Texas. It shamed me that any fellow Texan would leave a boat to rot in th

How Can You Help

If you want to help protect the natural resource that is Bayou Lafourche, I can think of 3 ways. DON’T LITTER! Throw your trash away in trash cans, at home, at gas stations, wherever there are trash cans for that purpose. Donate to the BTNEP. And finally volunteer. Volunteer with the BTNEP, or come out and help pick up trash at the annual Bayou Lafourche Cleanup Day. Most locations only had 4 or 5 volunteers, and that is nowhere near enough people. If you have a boat, then even better. Even if you don’t though, just walking up and down the bank, and Highway 1 which runs next to the bayou picking up trash is a fantastic help.

Cleanup of Bayou Lafourche
NSUB BTNEP Volunteers pick up trash aat the Bayouside park in Thibodeax

THANK YOU

Finally, I want to say thank you. Thank you to BTNEP and Nicholls State University Biology Department, for organizing and leading the charge in cleaning up Bayou Lafourche. There is so much more to do, but every little thing helps. Thank you to the Lockport Volunteer Fire Department, their Chief, Captain, and Bud who took me out on the bayou to educate me more about Bayou Lafourche. To all the volunteers from the bayouside park in Cut Off to the bayouside park in Thibodaux a big thank you for giving up a Saturday to help clean up the bayou.

Cleanup of Bayou Lafourche
NSUB BTNEP Lockport VFD Retrieving the partially submerged plastic tank. You can also see just some of the tires pulled from Bayou Lafourche.

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