Dredging should help our entire region

June 24, 2015
Opinions – HoumaToday.com

Hundreds of thousands of people throughout our region get their drinking water from Bayou Lafourche.

The water is purified before it makes its way through miles of pipes and into the faucet at your home.

But the better the source of that water is, the better off we all are.

So it’s a welcome development to see the dredging project that has gotten underway in Bayou Lafourche.

The idea is to increase the flow of water from the Mississippi down the bayou and into the Gulf of Mexico.

By increasing the water flow, the Bayou Lafourche Freshwater District is making sure the water quality in the bayou is better.

In past storms, rotting vegetation has been raised from the bottom of the bayou, something that severely affected the quality of our drinking water.

A higher water flow will wash out the bayou more effectively.

Environmental experts say the dredging should be good for the habitats the bayou provides in addition to increasing the quality of our drinking water.

“The good part about having good clean fresh water is that it’s not just good for humans; it’s good for the wildlife,” said Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program Director Susan Testroet-Bergeron. “We know that this is going to be great for everybody who uses the water.”

That’s an enthusiastic endorsement.

For far too long, our bayou has been stagnating with a less-than-ideal water flow. That has been the result of the need to dredge the bayou.

The hope now is that the dredging will allow a water flow closer to what is needed in Bayou Lafourche.

That should keep the water fresher. It should also make it a bit more difficult for the yearly assault of invasive water weeds to block the bayou’s flow.

Altogether, this will be a boon for our region.

Right now, the dredging project is taking place from Belle Rose to Napoleonville. Eventually, though, the plan is to dredge all the way to Thibodaux. Another part of the bayou improvement plan is to remove the weir across the bayou in Thibodaux, a structure that impedes water flow and causes unnecessary navigational difficulties in the bayou.

The bayou is an important source of water. It sends drinking water to people in Assumption, Lafourche and Terrebonne. Anything that can be done to improve the quality of that water and nurse the health of the bayou is a welcome improvement.

Let’s keep up the good work.

Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.

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