The TECHE Project has been awarded an $89,908 Federal grant through the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) for the installation of new canoe/kayak docks/launches in towns and cities along Bayou Teche from Port Barre all the way to Berwick.
Michael W. Domingue, who administers RTP for Louisiana within the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism under Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, made the announcement at Oaklawn Manor near Franklin, LA before a group of approximately 100 supporters of this important waterway.
RTP is a Federal program drawing funding from taxes levied on fuel sales for recreational vehicles and is administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
The docks will be like those recently installed in Port Barre, Breaux Bridge, St. Martinville, Loreauville and Charenton.
The grant will also fund the installation of large exhibits designed to orient water users and pedestrians to the geography of the Bayou Teche and the unique stories of each of the 15 communities located on the Bayou Teche.
The Bayou Teche is often described as Louisiana’s most historic and culturally significant waterway.
The Bayou and its downstream extension via the Lower Atchafalaya River hold the prestigious designation as a National Water (Paddle) Trail.
This designation made by the U. S. of Interior in 2015 is only one of 21 such water trail recognitions issued across the United States and the only one ever granted in Louisiana.
The TECHE Project, the all-volunteer non-profit management organization for the Bayou Teche National Water Trail, leads programs and produces events to Embrace, Explore, and Enrich this important natural, historic, scenic, cultural and recreational resource.
Patti Holland, the author of this successful grant application emphasized the importance of the award: “The Bayou Teche is one of Louisiana’s most important resources and this grant will help to assist towns, businesses, and property owners in realizing the vast potential the Teche offers. This will further connect and support all interests along our 135-mile wonderland of the South!”
The next steps for implementing the grant involve securing appropriate permits and arranging for the dock fabrication and installations.
Actual installations are expected in the next 12 to 18 months.