Boat landing project gets Added financial boost

Deidre Cruse, Governmental Reporter

After waiting for nine years for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers to start work improving the Bayou Sorrel Public Boat Landing, Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. has decided to team up with the state's Atchafalaya Basin Program, which is offering $670,000 for the project, Iberville Environmental Manager John C. Clark said Monday.

“The Port of Krotz Springs recently did the same thing, and now they have a really nice boat landing, which did not take nine years to finish,” Clark said. “It took them about two years from start to finish, and that is what I'm looking for here.”

“Mitchell said he's tired of dealing with the Corps,” which in nine years the Corps has only done engineering reports, Clark said.

The Bayou Sorrel landing is part of the Atchafalaya Basin Program's 2011 annual plan, reported at a public meeting here earlier this month.

Iberville Parish Councilman Louis “Pete” Kelley Jr. of Bayou Sorrel and Council Chair Matthew H. “Matt” Jewell of Maringouin, both commercial fishermen, teamed up with Junior Edwards of Bayou Sorrel to propose a new project aimed at restoring the water quality in the Upper Grand River Flats, Clark said.  The project will be included in the 2012 Atchafalaya Basin Annual Plan.

Edwards, who stars in the History Channel's program “Swamp People,” also recommended reconfiguring “Coon Trap,” a manmade cut from t he Atchafalaya River he said is causing havoc in the basin.

“He provided valuable information concerning the hydrology of the Atchafalaya Basin and its water quality and sediment problems,” Clark said. “...The federal and state scientists working for the Atchafalaya Basin were very impressed with his wealth of knowledge. They said his kind of input is what they like to hear.”