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March 22, 2010

Bayou DeSiard in Monroe to undergo cleanup effort March 27

On Saturday, March 27, students and faculty members from the University of Louisiana at Monroe will clean a mile stretch of Bayou DeSiard, which runs through the ULM campus. The event lasts from 8 a.m. to noon.

Students from ULM’s toxicology program and Tri-Beta, ULM’s Biological Honor Society, will lead the clean-up efforts along the bayou. Mike Adcock, Watershed Coordinator with the Northeast Delta Resource Conservation and Development Council, will provide supplies, trash bags and a boat for use during the event.

“As this marks our first formal clean-up effort at Bayou DeSiard, we plan to spread the word and transform this into an annual event,” said Dr. Kevin Baer, ULM Professor of Toxicology and Toxicology Department Head.

“We hope that our efforts will expand into the neighboring communities, so that the beautification of the bayou can be maintained for future generations. Everyone should be able to reap the benefits of a clean and prosperous bayou.”

This is the first of the two scheduled campus cleanup activities led by ULM’s Tri-Beta chapter. The group plans to communicate their campus-wide “green and clean” awareness campaign. Students and faculty from ULM’s toxicology program are also working on various community outreach endeavors that will benefit the bayou.

One project currently underway is the formation of a Web site where business owners, community organizations, governmental groups, local citizens and educators can gain information on non-point source education, storm drain marking, bayou conservation and other proactive environmental projects.

“The involvement of citizens living and working in watersheds is absolutely key to addressing many environmental issues,” said Chris Piehler, DEQ’s Water Quality Assessment Administrator. By taking ownership of their local water resources, the representatives of the ‘watershed community’ may be the best opportunity for success in water quality protection and enhancement.”

As a 30-mile long bayou that winds through Monroe and near Sterlington, Bayou DeSiard is the primary source of drinking water for the city of Monroe, which pulls more than 15 million gallons from it on a daily basis. While the southern portion of the bayou is predominantly open, it is used extensively for recreation and is the focal point for many neighborhoods, as well as ULM.

For more information on the event, please contact Dr. Kevin Baer, at 318-342-1698 or

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