Host State Event
Saturday, February 11, 2023
Boards at 6:00 PM, Cruises from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Creole Queen Paddlewheeler Evening River Cruise
The Creole Queen is an authentic paddlewheeler in the 90-ton class, powered by a 24 ft. diameter paddlewheel. The Creole Queen features outer decks with wrought iron trims guests to stroll back in time as they settle into the mood of a bygone era. The interiors of each room are appointed with plush style draperies, soft period lighting, wooden parquet dance floors, and Louisiana cypress bars with brass railing for a warm and welcoming setting. Dining options will include chicken and andouille gumbo, New Orleans baked chicken, red beans & rice, Creole jambalaya, beef brisket, corn maque choux, various salads and vegetables, iced tea and coffee. Guests pay for individual drinks. The cruise provides a comfortable, rarely experienced view of New Orleans from the Mississippi River, with scenes of its river borne activity. The Creole Queen dock is located 0.48 miles from the Marriot Hotel; about a 15 minute walk. In the event of heavy river fog, the boat will remain docked.
Host State Tours
Wednesday, February 15
12:45 PM – 4:00 PM
Partnership Potpourri-Conservation in the St. Bernard Parish Central Wetlands
The dedicated partners of the Crescent SWCD offer a wetland conservation collage within the St. Bernard Central Wetlands area. The 40 Arpent Marsh Terracing Project (Meraux Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, NAWCA) restores avian, aquatic and community infrastructure protection functions in a Chalmette subdivision’s backyard. 1.5 miles NE are the Bayou Bienvenue bulrush plantings (Crescent SWCD, LA CPRA, LDAF, Common Ground, Meraux Foundation, NRCS) that successfully reestablished emergent wetland vegetation along the historic bayou shoreline. A short distance to the east begins the Central Wetlands Cypress-Tupelo Reforestation Sites (Crescent SWCD, St. Bernard Wetland Foundation, LDAF, NRCS, Common Ground) made possible by major hydrologic restoration of the area. Time, weather, and logistics permitting there are other restoration sites to visit here in the St Bernard Central Wetlands.
This tour includes a visit to the The Arlene Meraux River Observation Center and Demonstration Farm. the “AMROC,” was dedicated in 2014 to honor the legacy of Arlene Meraux. AMROC serves as a community space and learning center. In addition to a meeting room and large classroom dedicated to community education, workshops, and projects, the building features a fifth-floor observation deck overlooking the mighty Mississippi River. Named after Dr. Louis “Doc” Meraux, Docville is a historic property that stretches from the Mississippi River to Lake Borgne. The Meraux Foundation has designated over 130 acres of Docville as a charitable center that hosts many programs and community events that support the Meraux Foundations mission to improve the quality of life in St. Bernard. As a demonstration farm, Docville houses the Center for Louisiana Citrus Innovation and Research, the anchor of a comprehensive program for strengthening the Louisiana citrus industry. The Docville greenhouses raise plants needed for The Meraux Foundation’s coastal restoration programs. It also serves as a learning resource for K-12 students throughout the year and has become a highlight of Ag Magic on the River, an annual event that links Louisiana’s agriculture and environment with people’s everyday lives.
Davis Pond Freshwater Diversion
Authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1965, the Water Resources Development Act of 1974, and the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, and completed in 2001, this diversion is near Luling, Louisiana, on the west bank of the Mississippi River in St. Charles Parish at mile 118.4, 15 miles upriver from New Orleans. Fresh water and accompanying nutrients and sediments are diverted from the Mississippi River into the Barataria Basin, reducing saltwater intrusion and establishing favorable salinity conditions in the area, thus combating land loss. These diversions also increase commercial and recreational fish and wildlife productivity and enhance vegetated growth for a healthier estuarine ecosystem in the Barataria Basin. Approximately 33,000 acres of wetlands are being preserved and 777,000 acres of marshes and bays benefited during the 50-year life of project.
This tour includes viewing a portion of the Sellers Canal Flood Control Structure which also functions as part of the Diversion’s eastern outfall guide levee and ties into the New Orleans Flood Control System, and the Diversion outfall channel, reaching from the Mississippi River south to a nearby cypress swamp and freshwater flotant marsh. The Diversion intake structure will also be viewed on the bank of the Mississippi River with discussion of design, construction and operation. The tour will then proceed to the nearby St. Charles Parish Sheriffs Office conference room for a summary presentation before returning to the Conference Hotel.