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Synopsis of 3rd Place Gulf Guardian Awards

(To learn more, please request a copy of the full submission - these short summaries do not provide a complete picture of the project)


Project #: HAB 2000-26
Company: Texaco Exploration and Production, Inc.,
New Orleans LA
Project Name: AMERICORPS on the Bayou
Category: Partnership
Project Type: Habitat

    AmeriCorps is a national service program that provides education awards in exchange for community service. AmeriCorps on the Bayou will mean an organized, trained, and energetic core of youth that will address the growing needs of Bayou Lafourche, a 120 mile-long waterway, stretching from Donaldsonville to the Gulf of Mexico. The Year 2000 is AmeriCorps on the Bayou's first year of a multi-year project. Working alongside the dedicated volunteers of Les Reflections du Bayou as well as other community groups, AmeriCorps will significantly bolster all efforts to study, protect, clean and beautify the Bayou and its surrounding wetlands.

    In 1987 a group of individuals who lived in the town of Cut Off, Louisiana along Bayou Lafourche decided that the Bayou was embarrassingly trashy and became determined to do something about it. They started by picking up litter and planting flowers, especially around the historic pontoon bridges that cross the bayou. In the last dozen years, their group, called Les Reflections du Bayou has become the leading litter fighter is southern Lafourche Parish.

    Les Reflections du Bayou grew, so did the community's needs. Neighboring towns, both up and down the Bayou saw what was happening and wanted the same, so the geographic outreach of the organization grew to incorporate six towns. The growth of the offshore oil field port at Fourchon brought higher traffic volumes and more litter. Coastal erosion crept closer to "home" and so the task of enhancing the environment came to include saving the land itself. Les Reflections du Bayou seeks through "AmeriCorps on the Bayou" to spread and target its efforts to the youth.

    Texaco is providing to Les Reflections du Bayou funds in the amount of $50,000 to provide first year "matching grant" monies. This donation will allow AmeriCorps on the Bayou to devote the majority of their attention and efforts into hiring and training AmeriCorps members, and not into fund raising.

Posted: 18 April 2000

Gulf of Mexico Program Office
Mail Code: EPA/GMPO
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000
FAX: 228-688-2709

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