Restoring Bayou Bienvenue: Seven Years Later
By Amy Wold
It could be a science center, a historical marker, an environmental tourist stop, a coastal restoration guinea pig or all of those things, but those working on a project near Bayou Bienvenue just want to make sure the end result is a cypress swamp in a 400-acre area near the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans.
As recently as the 1960s, this parcel of land was a cypress swamp where area residents went fishing and hunting, but has since turned into an open water, shallow lake. The only remnants of the forest that used to exist in this Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle are the stumps that appear during low water.
The change came after the completion of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet navigation channel in the 1960s, which helped bring saltwater into the freshwater cypress swamp, causing the trees to start dying.
“About 1969 or 1970, the trees started dying and falling down,” said John Taylor, 65, a lifelong resident of the area.
As part of Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development’s work since Hurricane Katrina, many groups including the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation, numerous universities and others have worked on rebuilding the cypress swamp. READ MORE >>