Bayou Teche Named National Water Trail and 2015 Leave No Trace Hot Spot
The 135-mile Bayou Teche recently became the first Louisiana waterway—and only the 17th in the country—to be added to the National Water Trails System. This designation places the Teche in an elite group of rivers throughout the nation, bringing increased visibility and recreational tourism opportunities for locals and visitors to the 15 communities and four parishes the river runs through.
The National Water Trails System is a network of “exemplary water trails that are cooperatively supported and sustained.” The system was established “to protect and restore rivers, shorelines and waterways and to increase access to outdoor recreation on shorelines and waterways.”
A central waterway within the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, Bayou Teche has a total of 13 established access points for paddle trips as short as seven miles and as long as 135, and the T.E.C.H.E. Project, which works to sustain the bayou, collaborated with community leaders to submit the waterway for this recognition.
The Bayou Teche Water Trail was also just designated one of only 12 Leave No Trace Hot Spots throughout the country for 2015. Each hot spot will receive a visit during the year from Leave No Trace traveling trainers who will bring education, resources and training to support community-driven projects that improve the hot spot's conditon and reduce impacts from recreational use so it can be enjoyed in an environmentally friendly way for generations to come. The trainers are scheduled to be in Louisiana Oct. 26 – Nov. 2.