POSTED: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 11:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 11:04pm
Louisiana — Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Stephen Chustz announced today the completion of improvements to the Big Alabama Bayou boat launch project in the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in the Atchafalaya Basin, creating a handicapped-accessible fishing pier with attached pavilion and station.
Though delayed in 2011 due to impacts from the Mississippi River flood, primary construction work on the pier, railings and pavilion was done in mid-summer and the final work has been recently completed. Phase I of the Big Alabama project, construction of a two-lane boat launch with a center pedestrian pier, was completed in 2009. Both DNR and LDWF look forward to additional future improvements at the site.
Phase 1 funding was facilitated by LDWF with a $60,000 contribution from DNR and an additional $180,000 in federal Wallop-Breaux funds. Phase 2 was completed with $194,000 from Capital Outlay funding from DNR’s Atchafalaya Basin Program.
“The Atchafalaya Basin Program has a two-fold mission, with one aspect being the preservation of the Basin ecosystem and habitats and the other being promotion of the Basin and providing access to the public for outdoor recreation, such as fishing, boating, bird-watching, camping and ecotourism,” Chustz said. “This project gives visitors from inside and outside the state an attractive and easily used gateway to experience the Sherburne Wildlife Management Area and other sections of the Basin.”
“Cooperative projects such as this facilitate access to the state’s unique natural resources and we will continue to work for improved access for our outdoor user groups at every opportunity,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.
Sherburne WMA, located in the Morganza floodway system of the Atchafalaya Basin, lies within portions of Iberville, Pointe Coupee and St. Martin parishes, between the Atchafalaya River and the eastern protection levee. The 43,618-acre WMA is managed by LDWF, which shares ownership with the US Army Corps of Engineers and US Fish and Wildlife Service. The site is utilized by 30,000 to 40,000 visitors each year.