Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District hires contractor to remove 12 derelict vessels

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The Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District authorized an agreement with Couvillion Group, LLC on Oct. 21 for the removal of 12 derelict vessels from Bayou Lafourche between Raceland and Larose.

Through an Intergovernmental Agreement, the Bayou Lafourche Derelict Vessel Removal project is being funded by the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District and Lafourche Parish Government in an effort to improve the water quality and provide a safer waterway for recreational users. Bollinger Shipyards has also played a critical role in the project’s progress by providing a bayou-side staging area at their Lockport facility. A total of 12 boats between the La. Highway 182 bridge in Raceland and the Intracoastal Canal in Larose will be carefully removed and discarded. The scheduled vessels have been decommissioned by the U.S. Coast Guard. The work is scheduled to begin in mid-November and take approximately one month. While there are no anticipated environmental complications, precautionary measures will be taken by Couvillion Group, LLC to ensure that the bayou is not contaminated by any of the vessels during removal.

Ben Malbrough, Executive Director of the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District, said “It is really great to see this project get started. Some of these vessels have been derelict in the bayou for many years, and we are excited to play a role in finally getting them removed. It is impressive to see multiple government agencies and private entities work together to resolve issues like this for the betterment of the community. Big thanks to Lafourche Parish Government for taking the lead on the project, and a huge thanks to Bollinger Shipyards for their partnership in helping make this project happen.”

“Bollinger Shipyards is pleased to assist the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District in implementing this much needed project. These derelict vessels are a danger to both commercial and recreational vessels. Once the removal has been completed, Bayou Lafourche will not only be much safer for all types of maritime traffic, but it will enhance the natural landscape and beauty of the Bayou. Bayou Lafourche has been such an integral part of our lives in both personal and business aspects and that is why we felt compelled to join in this endeavor,” President & CEO of Bollinger Shipyards Ben Bordelon said. “Now our future generations will be able enjoy the Bayou just as we have.”

“The beauty of Bayou Lafourche should be a showcase that attracts tourism and recreation. As good stewards of our natural resources, we should always look for better ways to take care of the land and water we live off of. Cleaning out vessels up and down our bayou should improve aesthetics and the environment in which wildlife can flourish. We are hopeful that this project will increase activities like canoeing, kayaking, fishing and touring along Bayou Lafourche,” Lafourche Parish President, Jimmy Cantrelle said.

“We are thrilled to hear about this joint venture to remove the derelict vessels from the bayou. This effort will help to improve water quality and public safety in our estuary,” said Susan Testroet-Bergeron, Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program Director. “While our citizens can do their part in the annual Bayou Lafourche cleanup this project certainly addresses a problem that they are unable to tackle.”