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Battle for Alligator Bayou [Part 2 of 2] (2009)

Louisiana: The State We're In



Genre: News, Public Affairs

Place Covered: Ascension Parish, Louisiana, Iberville Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2009-10-23

Duration: 00:09:35

Subjects: Environment | Alligator Bayou (La.) | Spanish Lake (La.) | FLOODS | Water levels


  • Sanford, Shauna Host
  • Whinham, Charlie Host
  • Sanford, Shauna Producer
  • Crews, Keith Photographer
  • Couhig, Kevin Interviewee
  • Bonifay, Frank Interviewee
  • Heard, Brighton Interviewee
  • Nesbit, Scott Interviewee


This segment from the October 23, 2009, episode of the series “Louisiana: The State We’re In” features the second part of Shauna Sanford’s report on the battle between the owner of Alligator Bayou Swamp Tours and Spanish Lake landowners in Ascension Parish over the operation of a floodgate and the water levels of Alligator Bayou and Spanish Lake. Sanford reports that officials in Iberville Parish ordered the opening of the floodgate at Alligator Bayou in April 2009. In this part of her report, Sanford interviews Kevin Couhig of Resource Environmental Solutions, a company that owns 3,000 acres of land in the Spanish Lake sub-basin. He discusses: the basin experiencing problems with regeneration; the results of a study commissioned by his company, which show that the 50-year closure of the floodgate at Alligator Bayou caused the regeneration problem; the landowners wanting the floodgate to remain open except during times of major flooding; the decision made by Iberville Parish officials to open the floodgate; and the lack of flooding in the Basin since the opening of the floodgate. She also talks to Brighton Heard and Scott Nesbit of Natural Resource Professionals about the new signs of growth in the Basin and their hope of restoring the ecosystem. Sanford also interviews Frank Bonifay, the owner of Alligator Bayou Swamp Tours, who discusses his belief that the floodgate has been properly managed for the last 50 years and the environmental damage caused to Alligator Bayou after the opening of the floodgate in April. Couhig disputes those claims. Hosts: Charlie Whinham and Shauna Sanford