Drone footage taken on February 27th shows the route where pipeline construction began and was halted on the West side of the Atchafalaya Basin. 

The Atchafalaya Basinkeeper's Dean Wilson monitored the pipeline route after the injunction was granted to suspend construction and reported back that all equipment was being removed in the Basin. 

Wilson reported that there was, "no connection to a direct sediment source found, but this could change depending how high the water comes in." 

He also acknowledged that on the east of the Atchafalaya Basin, there were legacy trees that were gone, but that most were still standing. 

"There was no trench dug on the East of the Basin at the time of monitoring, which is important to note given that the right-of-way is directly connected to two major direct sediment sources," says the Basinkeeper. 

"If it wasn’t for the judges ruling on the injunction, the consequences would have been catastrophic for the wetlands" 

ABK will continue to monitor the right of way and report on any violations that occur in contempt of the court ruling.

For now, this fragile part of the Basin is protected, but the fight is still to come in preserving the remainder of this natural treasure. 



After months of tireless work from our legal team, we are excited to announce that the Preliminary Injunction filed to stop construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline has been granted! 

Federal District Court Judge Shelly Dick sided with the Basinkeeper on the case during the initial hearing on February 8th, stating that "irreparable harm" had been caused in the Basin.

The plaintiffs including Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, Gulf Restoration Network, Louisiana Crawfish Producer's Association-West, Sierra Club, and Waterkeeper Alliance argued on the grounds that the Corps had granted the permits prematurely, that beginning construction during a high water season would cause irreparable harm on its own, and given the severity of the ecological damage already caused to the Basin, construction must be stopped in order to determine if the Corps' decision was arbitrary and capricious. Judge Dick will assign her written statements defending her ruling at a later date. 

Protecting the Basin from Problem Pipelines

During the initial hearing, our groups presented live testimony showing that the ancient cypress and tupelo trees slated to be turned into mulch while the pipeline right-of-way is being cleared would never return, including evidence that these old-growth trees are the Noah's Ark of the swamp – providing habitat for migratory birds, bears, bats and numerous other wildlife. In addition, we showed that pipeline construction would further degrade nearby fishing grounds that local commercial crawfishers rely on for their livelihood.  

“The court’s ruling recognizes the serious threat this pipeline poses to the Atchafalaya Basin, one of our country’s ecological and cultural crown jewels,” said Jan Hasselman, attorney from Earthjustice representing plaintiffs in this matter.  “For now, at least, the Atchafalaya is safe from this company’s incompetence and greed.”  

Jody Meche, a third-generation commercial crawfisher and president of the Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association-West, testified about how the Bayou Bridge pipeline would make existing problems worse – problems created by the irresponsible behavior of oil and gas companies during construction to previous pipelines in the basin. 

These problems include hypoxic water conditions that kill crawfish, eliminating harvests in areas of the Basin, the safety of local communities and the survival of Cajun culture.   

“We fight the fight for years, telling our story, raising public awareness about the issues we have in the Atchafalaya Basin,” Meche said. “It felt great to finally be able to tell my story in a courtroom.”


“After years of witnessing the systematic destruction of the Basin with impunity by these companies, while our government turns a blind eye, it felt good to finally tell our story to a person with the power to make a difference,” Dean Wilson, executive director of Atchafalaya Basinkeeper said.  

The groups also raised concerns about the fact that construction of the pipeline would decrease natural flood protection in the basin, which acts as the major floodway project that protects millions of people in coastal Louisiana and the Mississippi River valley from Mississippi flood waters. 

The Bayou Bridge pipeline project proposes to connect the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, which transports volatile and explosive Bakken crude oil from North Dakota to refineries in St. James Parish and export terminals, forming the southern leg of the Bakken Pipeline. Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), which owns the Dakota Access Pipeline and is a joint owner in the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline, has one of the worst safety and compliance records in the industry.

Federal data shows that Energy Transfer Partners and its subsidiary Sunoco Inc. have been responsible for hundreds of significant pipeline incidents across the country in the last decade. Last week, Sunoco was fined a record $12.6 million by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for violations incurred during the construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline.

The court ordered BBP to halt construction, citing the need to prevent further irreparable harm until the matter can be tried on the merits. The judge said the court would provide a more detailed opinion at a later date.   

The Future of the Basin 

We at the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper are ecstatic about the historical changes that are happening in the Basin. The magnitude of destruction done by these companies over the last decade is hard to measure, and we may finally have an opportunity to fix these issues that have already severely effected our communities. This victory is not just a blessing, but an outcome of strenuous collaboration from our team here at ABK, our attorneys at Earthjustice and Tulane Law Clinic, and the above mentioned organizations whose support and resilience has been invaluable in driving this fight forward. 

This Sunday, we invite you to join us for our Annual Meeting, open to the pubic, at Artmosphere in Downtown Lafayette where we will discuss what this ruling means for the future of the Basin and our legal case against Bayou Bridge Pipeline.

Please join us at 1 PM on Sunday at Artmosphere Bistro in support and celebration! 

corrected number StopETP


US Bank based in Minneapolis takes pride in raising the ethical bar in finance, purporting to put companies through strict due diligence before entering into financing. In April 2017, CEO Andrew Cecere claimed US Bank doesn’t finance the construction of oil or natural gas pipelines, yet the bank is profitably entangled with notorious human and environmental rights violator Energy Transfer Partners (ETP).

We are asking folks nationwide to Call-In and Demand Divestment from ETP supporting the efforts Water Protectors, activists, organizers, and indigenous leaders gathering and collaborating on the ground in Minneapolis, MN this week. As Super Bowl spotlight turns to US Bank Stadium, we’re making sure the world knows that US Bank funds companies that harm humanity and our Mother Earth.

Encourage your network of supporters and friends to join us on February 8th and 9th to raise our voices in solidarity with hundreds of others! Supporters nationwide can make an impact by calling US Bank Headquarters to Demand US Bank Keep Its Promise: Divest from ETP.

Everyone can and should call, but please encourage organizers you know in these states to share and push their network to call in.



CALL Reba Dominski, Chief of Corporate Social Responsibility,  612.303.0738  or

CALL Investor Relations, 866-775-9668.


Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a US Bank Customer  OR

HI, my name is [NAME] and I’m an American consumer  in [CITY, STATE].

  • "US Bank is financing illegal blockages, massive silting, and irreparable harm to Louisiana’s wetlands.”
  • “US Bank funds some of the nation’s most gruesome environmental actors - DAPL/Bayou Bridge Pipeline, Rover Pipeline and Mariner East 2 Pipeline are all proven hazardous to our water quality and way of life.”
  • "US Bank is endangering indigenous rights by aiding in the pollution of drinking water for the Houma nation."
  • "US Bank is risking the livelihood of crawfishermen and fishermen who rely on the Atchafalaya Basin as a vital resource by funding the Bayou Bridge Pipeline."

I'm calling to urge US Bank end its financial relations with Energy Transfer Partners and uphold its promise to stop financing the construction of oil and gas pipelines.

Thank you for your time and attention.


US Bank Corporate Social Responsibility Policy

UN Harmony with Nature Resolution 2016

Rights of Mother Earth

States with US Bank Branches: Arkansas, Arizona, California (has most--644), Colorado (157), Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois (238), Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky (144), Minnesota (126), Missouri (231), Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon (194), South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington (183), Wisconsin (134)


Visit www.stopetp.org to take action and learn more. 


Groups Await Ruling on Pipeline Construction Halt Through World's Largest and Most Productive Wetlands


Atchafalaya Baisnkeeper, Gulf Restoration Network, Waterkeeper Alliance, and Sierra Club are suing the Army Corps of engineers for granting permits that will further degrade and cause irreparable harm tot he Atchafalaya Basin. 

In a recent article by KFLY's Channel 10 News, Jody Meche, president of the Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association-West, said the project will compound flood risks and other pipeline-related problems that have been mounting for years.

“We’re losing our basin,” Meche said.

Scott Eustis, community science director for the Gulf Restoration Network, said the basin is “the crown jewel of wetlands.”

“There is absolutely no place in creation like the Atchafalaya Basin,” he said.

swamp snaps 2016 009swamp snaps 2016 071

(Photo Credit: Atchafalaya Basinkeeper) 

The Basin is the largest and most productive wetlands in the world, rich in wild caught seafood, and over 300 species of migratory birds. It's also a major flood protection, absorbing flood waters from the Mississippi River and protecting millions along its path. 

flood map forbes(Photo credit: Forbes) 


Located in south Louisiana, the Basin is riddled with oil and gas pipelines that cause spoil banks or man-made levees that are already out of compliance which the Corps refuses to enforce, creating mounds of unaturally high silting that trap more sediment designated for Louisiana's disappearing coast.

"It's not just this pipeline," says Dean Wilson, ABK's Executive Director. "The problems will continue in the Basin unless the issue of environmental enforcement is resolved." 

The plaintiffs are suing the Corps on the grounds that the permits granted to construct the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, a project that finalizes the route of explosive crude oil from North Dakota to south LA refineries for export, were given illegally and prematurely without an Environmental Impact Statement which is required when irreparable harm could potentially be an outcome.

Energy Transfer Partners owned and operated, the pipeline is extremely controversial as the company has already leaked millions of gallons into wetlands across the US. Construction is currently halted on Mariner East 2 pipeline in Pennsylvania due to violations by the company and Rover pipeline which spilled over 150,000 gallons into Ohio wetlands in January.

nbc news rover spill

(Photo Credit: NBC News)

Bayou Bridge Pipeline crosses over 700 bodies of water and lies in an already out of compliance corridor, according Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, a plaintiff in the case challenging the basis of the permit.

On February 8th, the groups presented testimony to a federal judge in regards to the preliminary injunction which pleads for construction to be stopped until the case has been settled.

In determining whether the Corps was capricious, Judge Dick has yet to rule on the grounds of the pending case. In court, she agreed with the plaintiffs, that irreparable harm had already been caused, but the groups await a ruling on whether or not construction must be stopped in order to prevent further irreparable harm including the demolition of the state's legacy cypress trees which stood prior to the Louisiana purchase alongside the danger of dredging in high water season which has the effect of backfilling swamps and brings more sediment into areas that are already unnaturally high.

During the hearing, attorneys for Bayou Bridge claimed the company would spend $20 million to mitigate the area of damage - their plans consists of regenerating hardwood forests nearly 50 miles outside of the construciton zone, where the company can reap carbon credits. 

"The state of Louisiana should not reward polluters with more incentives and tax credits to further degrade the swamp," says Wilson. "If anything, we should be making them pay for the damages caused and prevent the destruction of the wetlands alltogether by enforcing environmental laws."

Share if you think the Corps should enforce environmental laws in the Atchafalaya Basin and the world’s largest wetland to combat Louisiana's sinking coast and protect against major Mississippi River flooding.


Live footage: 

Help us Protect the Basin from the Bayou Bridge Pipeline!


We can not afford to put another pipeline through the Atchafalaya Basin. Our Wetlands are filled with spoil banks, and our regulatory agencies have failed in enforceing environmental law.


cherri bbp

As our legal battle with Bayou Bridge begins, let's remember, this isn't the first pipeline to cut through our Basin.

Unless we remedy the problems from previous pipelines, it will not end the cycle of harm caused by massive silting; however, Bayou Bridge (jointly owned by Energy Transfer Partners and Phillips 66) begins construction during a time when they face a continuance of national negligence across the board, with pipeline shutdowns along ETP's Rover pipeline in Ohio and Mariner 2 access line in Pennsylvania.

The tail end of ETP's Dakota Access pipeline is currently threatening to cut across the Basin, causing irreparable harm to its hydrology, ecosystems and communities. The Florida-Gas pipeline's spoil banks in the Basin and owned by ETP and Kinder Morgan, has already led to massive silting, creating uplands at an alarming rate, and their negligence record continues.

Bayou Bridge started construction of the pipeline during the historical high water season in the Atchafalaya Basin, increasing their damage to the wetlands and taking the risk that their open trench could deliver huge amounts of silt and sand into the interior wetlands silting-up our swamps.

ABK is not against oil and gas. Our stance is this: no more pipelines in the Atchafalaya Basin when environmental enforcement is lacking and residue from previous construction continues to cause accretion, destroying our coast. No more pipelines when negligent companies profit off of people's rights and leave our wetlands in shambles.

The pipeline company claims to be providing an estimated 2,500 local jobs, but only 12 are accounted for. What about the industry that it's putting at risk by destroying our wetlands?

The corridor being used to construct the pipeline is already out of compliance.; the Corps does not have a single person reviewing permits for compliance, and its regulatory branch lacks access to a boat which would be required to enforce. Illegal spoil banks need to be removed and the natural hydrology restored before more permits are granted.


swamp snaps 2016 062


Beyond the Basin's role in protecting us from major Mississippi River floods, there is a lot at risk when a pipeline project breaks through habitats including the cypress forests found here in South Louisiana.

We can not afford as residents of Louisiana to amass a nationally-recognized, "problem pipeline" at the expense of crawfishermen and fishermen who rely on the Basin as income, landowners who receive dimes for their easements, and the health and safety of those in St. James and the Houma nation who rely on its drinking water.

As our fight pushes forward, help us stop BBP in its tracks by donating today. Support your Atchafalaya Basinkeeper by spreading the word and making your voices heard!! 

Atchafalaya Basinkeeper
P.O. Box 410
Plaquemine, LA 70765 basinkeeper@gmail.com
cell: 225-685-9439
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