is a bayou
in southeastern Louisiana
, United States
, that flows into the Gulf of Mexico
. The first settlements of Acadians
in southern Louisiana were near Bayou Lafourche and Bayou des Ecores which led to a close association of the bayou with Cajun
culture. Today, approximately 300,000 Louisiana residents drink water drawn from the bayou. The name Lafourche is from the French
word for "fork", and alludes to the bayou's large outflow of Mississippi River water. It was formerly a Mississippi River
outlet, but was dammed at Donaldsonville
in 1905. The dam cut off nourishment and replenishment of a huge wetland area of central Louisiana. It changed the formerly flowing bayou into a stagnant ditch.
A project to reconnect Bayou Lafourche to the Mississippi River at Donaldsonville is currently under design. The plan is to use a control structure to regulate the water discharge. The purpose is to mitigate the accelerated land loss that followed the interruption of the distributary flow, and also to improve water quality in the bayou.
The bayou is paralleled by Louisiana Highway 1 on the west, and on the east by Louisiana Highway 308.
The film Southern Comfort is set in the Bayou Lafourche.