LOUISIANA — Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne toured the Poverty Point State Historic Site to see firsthand the erosion caused by Harlin Bayou. The erosion is on the northern part of the site and threatens part of the approximately 3,500-year-old concentric ridge earthworks.
"Poverty Point offers visitors a unique look into America’s earliest city and tells the story of a complex society living off Louisiana’s fertile land," Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. "It is crucial that we are proactive in protecting this incredible prehistoric site from erosion."
Lt. Governor Dardenne also met with local officials and area community leaders to talk about Poverty Point’s World Heritage Site nomination and the benefits to the area should UNESCO select the site in 2014. Lt. Governor Dardenne was joined at the site by Senator Francis Thompson of Delhi, Mayor J. Lynn Lewis of Delhi, Mayor Lavelle Brown of Oak Grove, Delhi Councilwoman Caroline Christman and West Carroll Parish Police Juror Eddie Russell. Assistant Secretary of the Office of State Parks Stuart Johnson and Assistant Secretary of the Office of Cultural Development Pam Breaux also attended the site visit and meeting.
"We are hopeful that this nomination will not only attract visitors from across the globe but also create jobs and spur the economy of northeast Louisiana," Lt. Governor Dardenne said. "The community is coming together to support the site and create infrastructure to enhance the visitor experience."
Dardenne is seeking emergency state funding; he has submitted a $750,000 request for funding to the Interim Emergency Board, which handles unexpected projects that crop up between legislative sessions. He went on to say he is trying to get the Interim Emergency Board to hold an emergency session prior to the April 8 session start to expedite funding to the project.