MERMENTAU RIVER WATERSHED COALITION

STAKEHOLDER UPDATE

History, Hydrology, and The Knots of Commerce

As we have continued our tour of the Mermentau Watershed, there are common themes which have arisen.  The communities of Lake Arthur and Grand Chenier, LA are perhaps the most vulnerable in the lower watershed region, as their geographic locations place them directly in, or hydraulically connected to, the lower Mermentau Basin (which includes White Lake and Grand Lake).  There is a belief, right or wrong, that the US Army Corps of Engineer’s operation of the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway (GIWW) has raised the flood threat to the Lower Mermentau Basin, and Lake Arthur in particular.  Upstream stakeholders in places such as Acadia & Evangeline Parish, and specifically Church Point have voiced support of providing relief in the Lower Mermentau, as they understand that once downstream relief is provided, those improvements can continue upstream. Everyone we have visited with agrees that relief must start downstream.  While adding upsatream capacity must also be part of any flood relief solution, In this update we will briefly discuss history of the lower Basin and potential improvements.   Lower Basin Historic Hydrology As the locals there know, and others such as myself have come to learn, the current infrastructure surrounding the Lower Mermentau Basin have cutoff

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May 20th LWI Meeting – Abbeville, LA

The LWI will be in Abbeville on May 20th to continue their outreach with Cameron and Vermilion Parishes.  The meeting is at 1pm and will take place at the LSU Ag Center Building at 1105 West Port St, Abbeville, LA.  See the agenda below.  Most of you have seen these topics before.  However this will be our first meeting in the Coastal Parishes and i urge you to attend and take part. 

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4/30 and 5/3 LWI Meeting Updates

Good Morning All, Last week, LWI officials met with Stakeholders in Jeff Davis/Acadia Parishes and Allen/Evangeline Parishes.  These update meetings were held in Jennings and Ville Platte, respectively.  This was the first time that the LWI had published to the public a draft of the Provisional Regional Geographic Boundaries.   See draft boundaries below: Be reminded, these are only DRAFT boundaries at this point and are not final.  That said, as you see, the Mermentau River Watershed is in Region 4 with the Calcasieu/Sabine Watersheds.  We should all consider very strongly the implications from this draft boundary.  Many of the attendees at the Jennings LWI meeting expressed that the Mermentau should have its own boundary.  Is this possible?  The LWI representatives were noncommittal.  In Ville Platte, the consensus seemed to lean towards inclusion in Region 5 (Teche/Vermilion Watersheds).  Most of the attendees of that meeting were residents of Evangeline Parish, which lies in the Acadiana Planning Commission’s (APC) region.  Additionally, given that APC has stated their intent to place gauges in the Mermentau, it could stand to reason that the Mermentau River Watershed Coalition (MRWC) should request inclusion in Region 5.  That is one position for consideration.  Another could be that, given

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MEETING REMINDER

This is just a reminder about the LWI meetings this week with Mermentau River Watershed Coalition stakeholders. The meeting with Jeff Davis/Acadia Parishes will be tomorrow, Tuesday, April 30th at 2:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Sidney Briscoe Building located at 304 North State St. Jennings, LA 70546. The meeting with Allen/Evangeline Parishes will be Friday, May 3rd at 10:00 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Evangeline Parish Courthouse located at 200 Court St. #104 Ville Platte, LA 70586

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REVISED DATE!!! May 3rd LWI Meeting Agenda – Ville PLatte, LA

The LWI meeting with Allen/Evangeline Parishes has been changed to Friday, May 3rd.  See agenda below.  The meeting will be at the same time and location – Evangeline Parish Courthouse, 200 Court St #104, Ville Platte, LA from 10:00am to 11:30am.  The Jeff Davis/Acadia Parish Meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 30th at 304 N State St, Jennings, LA from 2:00pm to 3:30pm. 

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April 30 LWI Meeting Agenda – Jennings, LA

Today we received the agenda for the April 30th meeting in Jennings, LA with LWI officials.  See below.  I do not have the agenda for the Allen/Evangeline meeting in Ville Platte but will share if i receive it. 

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Upcoming LWI Meetings

I was contacted recently by Carolyn Lesieur with the Louisiana Watershed Initiative (LWI).  The LWI has scheduled an outreach meeting with Evangeline and Allen Parishes for Tuesday, April 30th from 10:00 – 11:30 am in Ville Platte, LA (Evangeline Parish Courthouse, 200 Court St #104, Ville Platte, LA 70586).  I will be in attendance.  Additionally, the LWI proposes a meeting with Jefferson Davis and Acadia Parishes at 2pm on Tuesday, April 30th in Jennings, LA (Jefferson Davis Parish Police Jury, 304 N State St).  I hope you all can attend.   I do not know the formal agenda of these meetings. I attended the 3/28 LWI Council Meeting in Baton Rouge.  There were presentations from staff to the board members; and a presentation from Dewberry regarding the Amite River Modelling efforts.  There is no news, however, on the anticipated delivery of the Federal Registry which will provide the details on the use of the federal funds.  Hopefully, we will all receive an update on those topics on 4/30.  I look forward to seeing you all there. 

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Mermentau River Watershed – NRCS Photos & Articles

A few weeks ago, I stepped into the NRCS Field office in Jennings, LA, on recommendation from Tim & Bill Wild, friends and local farmers.  Bill is a Police Juryman for Jefferson Davis Parish and Tim is the current president of the Jefferson Davis Soil and Water Conservation District.  They both recommended I speak with Nikki McGee, a technician in NRCS office.  NIkki was in possession of historical studies of the Mermentau Watershed, according to the Wilds, and it was recommended I should view them.  When i arrived, Nikki dropped a pile of documents on her desk, and when she saw the look on my face, muttered that there were more underneath if interested.  “This should do for now,” I replied.   As I began to flip through the assemblage of reports, newspaper clippings, press releases, etc, I realized that what we are attempting to do has been done before – organizing a watershed coalition.  The Mermentau-Vermilion River Basin Association was formed in July of 1985 (Ed Wild, father of Tim and Bill was an original member; as was Mr Chuck Abell, who attended the 2/19/2019 meeting in Jennings. Another attendee of our 2/19 meeting, Mr Greg Linscombe is quoted as

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Mermentau Watershed Map

As our research on available watershed literature continues, we thought a map would help to frame our discussions. Below is a Mermentau River Watershed map.  The watershed’s boundary was developed from the USGS National Hydrography Dataset, and is a combination of the Upper and Lower Mermentau Watersheds (HUC-8s).  The background is USGS topo map available online through a web server.  Also included for reference are Parish boundaries and labels.  Some things i found surprising: 1. All or parts of 9 parishes drain into the Mermentau River: Allen, Evangeline, St Landry, Calcasieu, Jeff Davis, Acadia, Lafayette, Cameron & Vermilion.  2. The watershed area is approximately 5,200 square miles or 3.3 million acres.  3. the northernmost watershed limit is less than 2 miles from Rapides Parish (which contains Alexandria, LA – commonly referred to as the capital of CENLA).  The National Resource Conservation Society (NRCS) publishes Rapid Watershed Assessments (RWA) for various watersheds across the country to “increase the speed and efficiency generating information to guide conservation implementation, as well as the speed and efficiency of putting it into the hands of local decision makers.” Luckily, the Lower Mermentau Watershed (LMW) is one of the few Louisiana watersheds which has been published (study

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Thanks for Your Interest

Welcome You are here because of your interest in the future of the Mermentau River Watershed.  Though we all see natural environmental changes through the windows of our home, where our property meets the nearby landowner’s, as we enjoy our surrounding natural resources, or as those changes impact people in the regions and districts we serve; some of us are, or must be, more aware of those changes.  Our increased awareness and need for understanding brought us to the first Mermentau River Watershed Coalition meeting on February 19th.  This webpage may become a home for discussion as we all develop a deeper understand of our watershed from the upper reaches in Allen, Evangeline and Sta Landry Parishes south to the marshes and coastline in Vermilion and Cameron Parishes.  The Louisiana Watershed Initiative is what spurred our initial meeting and that program will likely be the impetus for our discussions over the coming weeks and months.  The funding opportunities the program provides certainly warrant that discussion.  We should use this opportunity as only a starting point to better understand the River and it contributing areas.  This will undoubtedly lead to deeper understanding and discussion regarding the management methods, programs and infrastructure in

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