Whereas, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area contains the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest river swamp in America;
Whereas, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area encompasses 14 parishes reflecting the unique culture evolving from life in the Atchafalaya Basin;
Whereas, the Atchafalaya Basin is considered the most productive swamp in the world and contributes substantially to the economy of Louisiana;
Whereas, the Atchafalaya Basin houses important wetlands that serve as buffers during storm surges;
Whereas, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area offers exceptional opportunities for education and recreation;
Whereas the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area encourages and promote recreational and educational activities during October to raise awareness of the valuable resources located within the Area;
Therefore, we do hereby proclaim October 2017, Celebrate the Atchafalaya month.
Know Atchafalaya Heritage
The Atchafalaya Basin is Part of the Mississippi River Geomorphology
Located in south-central Louisiana, the Atchafalaya River Basin extends from the confluence of the Mississippi, Red and Atchafalaya rivers, near Simmesport, to the Gulf of Mexico near Morgan City. Situated in the heart of this natural basin is the 833,000-acre Atchafalaya Basin Floodway. The floodway is about 15 miles wide and confined by the East and West Atchafalaya Basin Protection levees.
Officially, the State of Louisiana pronounces Atchafalaya – (ah-chafa-laya) It is the English version of a Choctaw Indian word “hacha falaia,” which means long river.
The pronunciation of Atchafalaya is somewhat troublesome because it is the French spelling of an Indian word. In French "ch" is pronounced as "sh" is in English. Thus "tch" is used in French to denote the English "ch" sound. Therefore, some linguist say correct pronunciation of Atchafalaya is as though it were spelled "acha falaya.“
The Atchafalaya Basin is one of the nation’s last great river swamps. It is also a principle floodway of the Mississippi River and Tributaries Project. The New Orleans District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, maintains 449 miles of federal levees, 14 pumping stations, 15 drainage structures and four navigation locks. Their job is overseeing the basin and ensure it is able to remove flood waters and keep basin channels open for commercial barges and small boats.
Know the Heritage …
The Atchafalaya Basin is a term that is used in multiple contexts, a Natural Wetland Basin, a Floodway, and a Cultural Heritage Area.