DELCAMBRE, La. (AP) - Delcambre now has a boat launch that can handle four boats at a time and a new pavilion for the seafood and farmer’s market.
Shrimp and fishing boats can dock at the 7,500-square-foot pavilion to sell their catch directly to the public.
The four shrimp boats at Saturday’s market sold their entire catch in a few hours, The LSU AgCenter said Wednesday.
The $4 million project, called Bayou Carlin Cove, also includes a fishing pier. It was dedicated Saturday, during the first Seafood and Farmer’s Market of the shrimp season. The AgCenter says attendance was estimated at more than 4,000.
The project started after the coastal town on the Iberia-Vermilion parish line was flooded by Hurricane Rita in 2005. Delcambre was flooded again by Hurricane Ike in 2008.
The AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant worked with local officials to get a $3.4 million federal community development grant and $600,000 from the Twin Parish Port District.
The Delcambre Seafood and Farmer’s Market will be held again on Oct. 4, Nov. 1 and Dec. 6.
The 14-acre site has parking at the boat launch, which formerly had no parking and could handle just one boat at a time. There’s also room for additional facilities, including an RV park and a boat storage warehouse, said Thomas Hymel, LSU AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant fisheries agent.
The LSU Landscape Architecture Department also got involved in the project, he said. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette conducted a community design workshop, and ULL business students helped draft a seafood marketing program.
“It’s a real model on how things can happen when the resources of the university work with local officials,” Hymel said.
Wendell Verret, Twin Parish Port District director, said a conversation between Hymel and port commissioners led to the successful grant application. Hymel also took the project to Louisiana Sea Grant, which led to a business plan and more grants.
Verret said Hymel also started the Delcambre Direct project, which lets people contact shrimpers and fishers to buy seafood from a boat once it gets to the dock.
“It was a tremendous success,” Verret said.
He said the new boat launch is attracting recreational and commercial boaters from out of town.
“It’s above our expectations,” he said.
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