Sometimes described as the “longest Main Street in the world,” Bayou Lafourche stretches some 106 miles connecting communities between Donaldsonville and the Gulf of Mexico. It flows through parts of Ascension, Assumption, and Lafourche parishes. The name Lafourche is from the French for "the fork", and alludes to the bayou's large outflow of Mississippi River water.
The bayou once was a main distributary of the Mississippi River leading to the Gulf of Mexico. In the 1700s, French explorers may have traveled on this waterway as they staked claims in the coastal areas. Original inhabitants of the area include the Chawasha, Washa and Chitimacha tribes. Acadians began arriving from Canada in the mid-18th century and established the fishing and trapping legacy that remains in this heavily Cajun-influenced area today.
Today, approximately 300,000 Louisiana residents drink water drawn from the bayou.
Bayou Lafourche Corridor Plan
The report, released in 2007, is a joint effort by Ascension, Assumption, and Lafourche Parish governments along with the municipalities of Donaldsonville, Napoleonville, Thibodaux, Lockport, and Golden Meadow to, “…identify and expand upon existing cultural and ecological tourist attractions that offer economic benefits along the bayou and to propose new projects. It also analyzes and prioritizes these projects according to the desires of the citizens.”
Bayou Lafourche Summit 2011
The report, prepared by All South Consulting Engineers for the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District, was submitted “to document the proceedings and provide recommendations resulting from the Bayou Lafourche Summit…an initiative of the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District (BLFWD)…”
In closing the report found that, “The Summit was a success and the first step toward revival of a vital resource.”