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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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BTNEP’s Bayou Lafourche Cleanup results are in

BTNEP’s Bayou Lafourche Cleanup results are in

In an effort to improve the water quality of the resource that provides 300,000 citizens with drinking water, the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) held its 6th Annual Bayou Lafourche Cleanup this year on March 11.

The 2017 event covered areas along the bayou from Donaldsonville to Leeville and is BTNEP’s largest volunteer effort to remove trash from Bayou Lafourche.

Over 900 resident volunteers took part in the event by collecting trash along the bayou side and with boats in the water. The volunteers picked up trash for four hours and collected over 17,530 pieces of trash.

Items were divided into five categories. The results are as follows:

- Shoreline/Recreational: (bags, plastic bottles, glass bottles, cans, plastic eating utensils, plates and cups, food packaging, Styrofoam, etc.) - 12,729 items

- Fishing and Boating: (bait containers, buoys, buckets, ice chests, oil bottles, light bulbs, rope, strapping bands, crawfish and crab traps, etc.) - 1,251 items

- Smoking: (cigarettes, lighters, cigar tips and tobacco packaging) – 2,863 items

- Medical/Hygiene – 104 items

- Dumping Activity: (appliances, batteries, building materials, car parts, drums and tanks, tires etc.) – 584 items

- Unusual items included: Mardi Gras décor broom, beads, hose, toilet, rug, batteries, traffic cone, workout video (VHS), plastic signage, fuse, bike car seat, tarp, kid’s pool, lawnmower, political sign, antenna, carpet, metal, siding, rebar, aerosol can, master lock, road reflector, rear view mirror, car bumper, tailgate, headlight, hubcap, metal spring, toilet float, George Foreman grill, life jacket, and propane bottles.

Volunteers reported seeing less trash in the bayou this year, but unfortunately, the tonnage was only slightly lower than 2015 at 20.3 tons compared to the 2015 tonnage, which was 21.99 tons.

“It is exciting and disappointing at the same time,” said Alma Robichaux, BTNEP Education and Outreach Coordinator and Bayou Lafourche Cleanup Project Manager. “We continue to get great numbers of volunteers, but we are not seeing a decrease in the tonnage of trash. I think we are making slow progress!”