State approves $500,000 to restore False River

POINTE COUPEE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A decades-long struggle to restore False River may finally be over thanks to half-a-million dollars in bond money.

"Great things are coming to False River. It's just going to take us a little while, and we know it didn't get this way overnight and it cannot be fixed overnight," said Ron Pourciau, who was raised along the river.

Pourciau says the decline in water quality didn't happen overnight - but rather, took decades. Attempts to clean it up have gone on for quite some time too. Back in 2001, the Army Corps of Engineers started to repair the river's sediment problem, but the project was halted when funds ran out.

"It's been a struggle for 25, 30 years probably. I think since early 2000, 2001 when the Corps initially started looking at it is when the big push came along," said Rep. Major Thibaut- (D) District 18.

Last year, Rep. Thibaut presented a plan to dredge parts of the lake, and create artificial reefs to increase wildlife growth. The $500,000 granted by the state bond commission will allow them to assess and address the high amount of sediment that has become a big problem in the river.

"Those canals that are feeding into False do something to them to stop further silt if it still is a problem," said Thibaut. "The second thing is address the situation that's already there."

The bond money will allow for creation of islands and reefs in False River allowing more fish to spawn and vegetation to grow; a step toward the river being a real sportsman's paradise again.

"We just saw a decline in tournaments here on False River since the fishing has declined. So to bring those tournaments back, I think will put a boost in the economy and the parish should be overly excited about what's coming in the future," said Pourciau.

Rep. Thibaut says phase one of the river restoration will start in 2014.

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