Ecotourism on the Vermillion Parish Coast, LA

An Architectural Site Analysis and Land Use Proposal Regarding An Ecotourism Park On the Gulf Coast Between Freshwater Bayou and Southwest Pass.

emerymcclure architecture with Onezieme Mouton

This study proposes the creation of a hiking and biking trail between the Freshwater Bayou Locks and the Deltaic/Chenier plain juncture. The eco-trail would include: 1.) the development of a trail head at the Freshwater Bayou Lock for automobile parking, rest rooms, and orientation, and ecological and geological education, 2.) trail development and maintenance from the Freshwater Bayou Locks to the beach front, 3.) three pedestrian bridges, 4.) three observation/monitoring towers, 5.) one fishing wharf/breakwater/marsh stabilization structure.

The creation of this proposed trail could foster the development of a private industry. The private sector could facilitate and enhance excursions along the trail with services such as horseback trips, overnight accommodations, and the supply of camping and hiking provisions. The development and maintenance of the trail from the Freshwater Bayou Lock to the Gulf, and the potential of expanding the Chênière au Tigre Breakwater Jetty system by the Department of Natural Resources, would offer an increase in hurricane protection against tidal surge. The conceptual foundation for this proposal is “Ecotourism.” It is a concept which governs a minimalist approach towards the development of the landscape. Nothing needs to be augmented in the landscape in order to attract tourism. The landscape itself, as natural as possible, is the attraction. The building interaction with the landscape is minimal and is only to enable a pedestrian or bicycler to encounter a natural experience. In the natural experience, nature must be given primacy, and therefore the use of motorized vehicles would be prohibited, and a “Leave No Trace”( policy would be implemented. This proposal is intended not be an entitled experience for everyone, but a privileged experience for anyone.