The state’s annual plan for the Atchafalaya Basin was endorsed by the Senate Natural Resources Committee Thursday and is now only one step away from official adoption. The authorization is located in House Concurrent Resolution 39 by Rep. Karen St. Germain, D-Plaquemine; view a copy of the plan here.

The details cover fiscal year 2011, which begins July 1. Stephen Chustz, director of the  Atchafalaya Basin Program in the Department of Natural Resources, told the committee that 75 percent of the projects focus on water quality and management.

The category includes activities such as dredging; diversions; construction of cuts and gaps; data collection; evaluation; monitoring; and related planning. The top five water project in the plan, in order of priority, are:

• Cocodrie Swamp
• Open Location Canal into Swamp North Bayou Sorrel
• Open Brown Bayou to the I-10 Canal
• Bayou Fourche
• Dredge Big Bayou Pigeon

The plan likewise identifies four of the top access projects in the Basin, including, in order of priority:

• Bayou Sorrel Landing
• Butte La Rose Landing
• King’s Ditch Landing
• Wilson’s Landing

Other projects proposed for funding in the plan include Assumption Veterans Park, Basin Clean Up, Basin Outreach, Belle River Park, Camp Atchafalaya, Engineering, Lake End Cabins, Morgan City Interpretive Center, Primitive Campground, Sediment Management Plan and Stephensville Park.

Master plan projects that are already under way from previous plans include Assumption Veterans Park, Avoyelles Interpretive Plaza, Avoyelles Sarto Bridge, Avoyelles Simmesport Park, Belle River Park, Camp Atchafalaya, Cajun Coast Tourism Center, Catahoula Park Improvements, Dick Davis Park, Eagle Point Park, Harry Hewes House, Iberville Welcome Center, Lake End Park, LePromenade de Pont Breaux, Opelousas Gateway, Pointe Coupee Doris Park and Stephensville Park.

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