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Louisiana State Gateway to the Atchafalaya Basin

St. Mary Parish

Louisiana Atchafalaya Basin

Adopted in 2004

Senate Bill 8 by Senator B. Gautreaux (Act 594) designates St. Mary Parish as the "Gateway to the Atchafalaya Basin, home of some of the best bass fishing tournaments in the world."

Atchafalaya is a Native American word meaning "long river." The Atchafalaya River is 135 miles long and reaches depths of 100 feet. Due to the river's silt content, the land being built at the mouth of the river makes it the only active growing delta in the world.

St. Mary Parish is the gateway to the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest overflow swamp in the United States. It is over 800,000 acres, and equals one third of the entire state.

Louisiana State Gateway to the Atchafalaya Basin: St. Mary Parish

The Atchafalaya Basin, or Atchafalaya Swamp, is the largest wetland and swamp in the United States. Located in south central Louisiana, it is a combination of wetlands and river delta area where the Atchafalaya River and the Gulf of Mexico converge. The river stretches from near Simmesport in the north through parts of eight parishes to the Morgan City area in the south. The Atchafalaya is unique among Louisiana basins because it has a growing delta system (see illustration) with nearly stable wetlands. The basin contains about 70% forest habitat and about 30% marsh and open water. It contains the largest contiguous block of forested wetlands remaining (about 35%) in the lower Mississippi River valley and the largest block of floodplain forest in the United States. Best known for its iconic cypress-tupelo swamps, at 260,000 acres (110,000 ha), this block of forest represents the largest remaining contiguous tract of coastal cypress in the US.

Louisiana Senate Bill No.8

ENROLLED
Regular Session, 2004
SENATE BILL NO. 8
BY SENATORS B. GAUTREAUX AND ROMERO
AN ACT
To enact R.S. 49:170.12, relative to state symbols; to designate St. Mary Parish as the Gateway to the Atchafalaya Basin; and to provide for related matters.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:

Section 1. R.S. 49:170.12 is hereby enacted to read as follows:
§170.12. Gateway to the Atchafalaya Basin; St. Mary Parish

R.S. 49:170.12 is all new law.

St. Mary Parish is hereby designated as the Gateway to the Atchafalaya Basin, home of some of the best bass fishing tournaments in the world.

Section 2. This Act shall become effective upon signature by the governor or, if not signed by the governor, upon expiration of the time for bills to become law without signature by the governor, as provided by Article III, Section 18 of the Constitution of Louisiana. If vetoed by the governor and subsequently approved by the legislature, this Act shall become effective on the day following such approval.

PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA
APPROVED:

Louisiana Law

The law designating St. Mary Parish as the official Louisiana state Gateway to the Atchafalaya Basin is found in the Louisiana Statutes, Title 49, Section RS 49:170.13

TITLE 49 - State administration
RS 49:170.13

§170.13.  Gateway to the Atchafalaya Basin; St. Mary Parish

St. Mary Parish is hereby designated as the Gateway to the Atchafalaya Basin, home of some of the best bass fishing tournaments in the world.

Acts 2004, No. 594, §1, eff. July 5, 2004.

 

 

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