Vermilionville Watershed Exhibit
— Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail —
During early settlement and into the Antebellum Period, the Vermilion was an important secondary waterway for steamboats carrying agricultural products to New Orleans, the east coast and, eventually the world.
The Vermilion River, also known as Bayou Vermilion, forms on the common boundary of Lafayette, St. Landry and St. Martin parishes, where Bayou Fusilier, a distributary outlet of Bayou Teche, merges with Bayou Carencro. From there it flows south through Lafayette and Abbeville to Vermilion Bay. The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway crosses the Vermilion at Intracoastal City, connecting the river to points throughout south Louisiana and neighboring Gulf states.
The Vermilion is a consequent stream or tidal river. This means its origins relate to tidal influences from Vermilion Bay, which gradually eroded coastal marshes to grow the river’s channel north from the edge of the bay. Later, the connection with Bayou Teche through Bayou Fusilier developed, completing the river creation cycle.
During early settlement and into the Antebellum period, the Vermilion was an important secondary waterway for steamboats carrying agricultural
With the advent of railroads and highways leading into Lafayette, the river’s use for commerce and transportation lessened. And after the construction of the western Atchafalaya Basin levee—when seasonal increases in water flow no longer occurred—the river developed stagnation and water quality issues. The Teche-Vermilion Pump Station and canal was constructed in 1982 to carry water from the Atchafalaya River at Krotz Springs and augment river flow during periods of low rainfall and runoff.
Development in present-day Lafayette and the suburban area has exceeded the river’s ability to adequately drain during heavy rainfall. When this occurs, river waters back up and begin to flow north, reversing course. Backwater flow sometimes travels through Coulee Crow and Bayou Tortue to the 6,400-acre Bayou Tortue Swamp. This swamp provides a large capacity for backwater flow and takes pressure off the Vermilion, reducing flood risk in the
The river now functions as an important source of agricultural irrigation and recreational amenity for area residents.
Visit Atchafalaya.org for more information about this site.
This site’s geology/geomorphology: Holocene alluvial deposits (natural levees, distributaries and abandoned channels) of small rivers.
Erected by State of Louisiana and National Park Service.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Environment • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail series list.
Location. 30° 12.883′ N, 91° 59.81′ W. Marker is in Lafayette, Louisiana, in Lafayette Parish. Marker is on Fisher Road near Surrey Street (State Highway 728-B), on the right when traveling north. Located at the Vermilionville Historic Village. Touch for map
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Coussan House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Vermilionville Historical Timeline (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Vermilionville Historical Timeline (about 400 feet away); Historic Village Map (about 400 feet away); Bayou Vermilion District (about 500 feet away); Beau Bassin House (about 600 feet away); School House (about 600 feet away); Mouton House (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lafayette.
Also see . . . Vermilionville Historic Village. (Submitted on March 5, 2018, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 5, 2018. It was originally submitted on March 5, 2018, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 167 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 5, 2018.