Press releases

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined members of Louisiana’s Congressional Delegation to introduce legislation that would reauthorize the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area (NHA) for 15 years, continuing a commitment to sustain the unique heritage of “America’s Foreign Country.” Established in 2006, the Heritage Area stretches through 14 parishes and provides support for the region’s cultural heritage, increases regional and national attention to the area through tourism and enhances the ecological habitats and wildlife species. 

“The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area is a jewel of Cajun culture and Acadiana’s diverse landscapes. I’m happy to join Louisiana’s delegation in working to extend its authorization for another 15 years so Louisianians can keep enjoying its natural beauty and rich history,” said Kennedy.

“The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area celebrates Cajun culture and history. This bill preserves the celebration while protecting the environment and creating jobs,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy.

“To put it simply, there is nothing like the Atchafalaya Basin anywhere else on this continent. It is larger, more productive, the source of amazing crawfish and some great people. We need to treasure it, protect it and educate people about all the basin area has to offer from conservation to economic productivity and tourism. The Heritage Area designation helps to highlight and improve the stewardship of the natural resources, culture, and history of this important region,” said Rep. Garret Graves.

“The Atchafalaya Basin is an integral part of South Louisiana’s culture and heritage. I’m honored to join my colleagues in the Louisiana delegation to support reauthorizing the Basin as a National Heritage Area. This designation provides our state with both economic and environmental benefits,” said Rep. Clay Higgins.

“The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area will help preserve the unique Cajun and Creole cultures found in the Atchafalaya Basin. Today, I am proud to join my Louisiana colleagues in introducing legislation that will reauthorize this designation to help preserve this special Louisiana landmark,” said Rep. Mike Johnson.

“It’s vital for our state’s culture and unique way of life to preserve and protect the Atchafalaya Basin, and I’m proud to support the Heritage Area reauthorization to enhance conservation efforts and to protect the area’s strong cultural heritage for years to come,” said Rep. Steve Scalise. 

Stakeholders and elected officials across south Louisiana support the reauthorization, including:

  • Acadiana Planning Commission
  • Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge
  • Ascension Parish (Parish President Clint Cointment)
  • Avoyelles Parish Police Jury
  • Cajun Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • City of Patterson, La.
  • Concordia Parish Police Jury (President Joseph Parker, Sr.)
  • Louisiana Travel Association
  • Louisiana Association of Convention and Visitor Bureau
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Pointe Coupee Parish President Major Thibaut
  • South Central Planning and Development Commission
  • South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center
  • St. Mary Parish President David Hanagriff
  • St. Mary Chapter of the Louisiana Landmarks Society
  • St. Mary Chamber of Commerce (President Donna Meyer)
  • St. Mary Parish Tourist Commission
  • Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government
  • Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser
  • State Rep. Rhonda Butler
  • State Rep. Phillip Devillier
  • State Rep. Kathy Edmonston
  • State Rep. Les Farnum
  • State Rep. Bryan Fontenot
  • State Rep. Mike Huval
  • State Rep. Clay Schexnayder
  • State Rep. Phillip Tarver
  • State Rep. Jerome Zeringue
  • State Sen. Bret Allain
  • State Sen. Page Cortez
  • State Sen. Ronnie Johns
  • State Sen. Fred Mills
  • State Sen. Gary Smith

More information about the NHA is available here.