PADDLE BAYOU LAFOURCHE 2011 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Staff reports

The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program and its Foundation have teamed up to offer residents and visitors from all over the opportunity to travel along the muddy waters of Bayou Lafourche, April 07 – 10, during Paddle Bayou Lafourche 2011: the 10-year anniversary.

The 52-mile, four-day paddling trip down the bayou begins Thursday, April 07, in Donaldsonville, and ends in Lockport on Sunday, April 10. Paddlers can participate anywhere from one day to all four days of the trip. They will be treated not only to scenic natural vistas, but also to a fascinating backyard view of the bayou from the water’s perspective and enjoy camaraderie, food, music, and fun. Paddlers will also get a firsthand look at the restoration work being conducted along the bayou. Registered paddlers will receive local cuisine and entertainment every night in a campsite setting. They will also receive a t-shirt, water and healthy snacks throughout the day, and a daily shuttle bus. Canoe rentals are available in a limited supply. The trip is $30.00 per day, or $110.00 for all four days without a canoe rental. With a canoe rental, the cost is $50.00 per day, or $190.00 for all four days. Registration is required beforehand.

During this 10th annual trip, paddlers may choose to camp out at Madewood Plantation, on the Nicholls State University campus, and at Dr. Mike and Brenda Dardar Robichaux’s home with the United Houma Nation, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights respectively. Tommy G & Stormy Weather will provide entertainment Thursday night. Paddlers are given the option to visit the American Cancer Society Relay for Life event Friday night, and the United Houma Nation will hold an exhibition Saturday night. Other entertainment will also be a part of the opening and closing ceremonies.

There will also be a “Welcome Paddlers” event in Donaldsonville on Wednesday, April 06, 2011. The Donaldsonville Downtown Development District, along with many sponsors, has prepared a low-cost and exciting evening for the paddlers in Historic Downtown Donaldsonville.

Local residents not registered for the trip are encouraged to visit the many shops and restaurants of Donaldsonville this evening to welcome the paddlers to Bayou Lafourche, and to pass a good time. Local residents can also join in the experience by supporting the paddlers from the banks of Bayou Lafourche. Locals are invited to decorate their bayou side and provide signs of encouragement to the bayou visitors. In the past, visitors have been greeted with local music and cheers as the paddlers coasted down the bayou. Residents are encouraged to make sure their bayou side is clean to help welcome the paddlers and associated media.

BTNEP started Paddle Bayou Lafourche as an innovative approach to educate residents and visitors about the culture and ecology of Bayou Lafourche, as well as the coastal restoration needs of the area and potential solutions.

Paddlers must register by completing the registration from at www.btnep.org. A separate registration from must be completed to attend the “Welcome Paddlers” event in Donaldsonville, as an official paddler.

For questions about the Welcome Paddlers event, please contact the Donaldsonville DDD at (225) 323-2555 or directorddd@gmail.com. Please visit www.btnep.org for more information and to register, or call (800) 259-0869.