Officials with Lafourche Parish Government, the Greater Lafourche Port Commission and Department of Wildlife and Fisheries were all smiles Monday, as they officially opened the Leeville Boat Launch.
The ribbon cutting ceremony brought closure to six months of construction in which the $1.1 million recreation facility was built. The launch is located at the site of the old Leeville drawbridge and can accommodate about 60 trucks with boat trailers, two 30-foot-wide concrete ramps and a kayak launching area.
Construction on the launch included dredging, bulkhead and dock construction as well as a small amount of mitigation work to offset any wetlands damage done indirectly as a result of the project.
Completion of the boat launch was a partnership between Lafourche Parish Government, the Greater Lafourche Port Commission and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
A $487,000 federal grant from the Wildlife and Fisheries Wallop-Breaux Fund was matched with $200,000 from the Greater Lafourche Port Commission and $413,000 from the Lafourche Parish Recreation Fund to pay for the boat launch.
Greater Lafourche Port Commission Executive Director Chet Chiasson said the project is a great addition to the area.
"The Greater Lafourche Port Commission is pleased to be a project partner on this major investment in our parish's infrastructure, and we very much look forward to seeing more residents and visitors alike out on the water enjoying our amazing environment," he said.
Randy Myers from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said watching projects like this round into shape demonstrates just how valuable the Wallop-Breaux Fund is to communities such as Leeville.
"It is a user-paid program that comes from fees collected from those who enjoy boating and fishing. Through paying fees like those to purchase licenses, we use that money to help fund projects like these," Myers said.
Several board members from the Greater Lafourche Port Commission commented thanking all those who collaborated to make the project possible, while also making sure to send special thanks to the parish council members for their support of the work on the Leeville Boat Launch.
The Leeville Boat Launch joins eight other free boat launches from Leighton in the north to Port Fourchon in the south.
"What I love about this facility and others like it is the way they serve to enhance recreation in Lafourche and offer fishermen and families opportunities to enjoy our beautiful waterways," Parish President Charlotte Randolph said. "This was truly a collaborative effort involving a number of entities. We want people to enjoy this free launch and take advantage of it whether those visiting here are from the local area or outside our area."
Randolph added officials are hopeful they will be able to secure another half-million dollars in funding in order to tack on further enhancements as well as an artificial reef.
Posted on Thu, December 4, 2014
by The Lafourche Gazette