Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana

The end of the WORLD!

Plaquemines Parish
We are over six feet below sea level!

Plaquemines Parish

Plaquemines Parish, named for the persimmon is unique in origin. When LaSalle planted a cross at the confluence of the passes of the Mississippi river and named it Louisiana, he was standing on the banks of the river, at what is now called Venice, in Plaquemines Parish.

It is most probable that the first white men to settle on the lower reaches of the river were Spaniards who were the remnants of DeSoto's expedition in 1541. It is said, that after DeSoto died, some of his men attempted to reach Mexico by traveling over land, but had to return to the river they had discovered. They made crude boats out of cypress and followed the current of the river through the passes and into the Gulf of Mexico. By following the coast line, some reached Texas, others got to Mexico, and some who couldn't endure the hardships stayed to live among the Indians on the banks of the Mississippi River. Here they hunted, fished and probably planted corn or maize along w/ the Indians. These were the real pioneers.

Some Interesting reading on this includes: Calumet; a translation of the Penicaut narrative, La Harpe's Journal. The Annals of Louisiana,1698 to 1722, by Penicaut seems to be most basic. There is a continuity of events related by Penicaut, that seems to carry you along on his voyages of exploration. He, like most of the others, neglected many vital details concerning the lower reaches of the river below the English Turn. Very few historians regarded this section as important, where the roots of Louisiana are so indelibly planted.

Most of the people that live in Plaquemines Parish are employed in the seafood industry, oil industry or work for the Parish. There is not a wealth of job opportunites in Plaquemines Parish, but there are many "self employment" positions open.

Trawling in Plaquemines Parish

The seafood industry is a good business in Plaquemines Parish, and contributes heavily to the Louisiana seafood industry. Trawlers head to the bayous during shrimping season, which runs from May (brownie season) until August (white season) to make their catch and feed their families. Many trawling boats have entire "crews" to help run the boat. Trawling boats range from 10 feet, up to over a hundred feet. However, the average trawling boat is about 65 feet. The booms on the sides of the boat are lowered into the water, thereby lowering the attached nets in to begin "draggin" slowly through the open waters and *Netting* a catch. On an average catch, there are usually 200lbs or more of shrimp. However once the nets are brought in, and untied (releasing the entire catch, and more onto the deck of the boat) the entire process of "picking" starts. Picking is the sorting out of "keep" and "get ride of". Any and all seafood is kept,except: eels, sharks (usually babies), turtles, manta rays, bat rays, squid, and of course garbage is discarded back into the water. There are efforts to bring garbage back to dumping sites and have it discarded there.
After the seafood is picked, it must be iced down. The seafood is usually stored in the hull of the boat, in the "hole". The hole is a room that is completely filled with ice. It usually has a passageway to enter and exit thereby filling it with seafood. If there is ample fuel, ice and food on the boat, and room to store the seafood, then the entire process begins again. However, if any of these is lacking (sometimes when you are catching good, you keep trawling without the food) then the boat usually goes to the dock to unload, refuel, get ice and buy some food. Most boats have a small kitchen in them, and food is cooked there. Otherwise for a smaller boat, such as a 35 foot one, most food is brought ready to eat. Po-boys, and meat salads are among the favorites. Trawling is an art of knowing the weather, the waters, and the ways of fishing. Even though you are on the open waters you have plenty of rules to follow. The conservation department is very strict on trawlers, and boating regulations. When the season is over, most trawlers head to the Gulf of Mexico. The waters are not as easily recognizable, and the docks are farther away. This is not as convienent as trawling close to home. The average boat goes out from the parish into the Gulf, for about 5 days. The fuel but be plentiful, the ice must last, and the food should be carefully monitored. Radios on the boat, as well as radars, are monitored as well, for any possible bad weather, or accidents. Radios on the boat are also used to communicate with the "family" back in the parish. Anxious mothers, fathers, wives, and children await the news of the catch.
Radio Conversation

"Hey how are ya'll, der without me"?
"Aw, we doin alright, how ya'll catchin"?
"We catchin good, we had both nets full this last drag, and we dropped dem again".
"Well, when ya'll comin in"?
"We comin in dis evenin', dat's why I am callin to tell you".
"Ya'll goin by the dock, first"?
"Yeah, we will be der about 7:30, we got to unload, and get some fuel and ice, come by der and see us".
"Ok, I'll see ya by the dock at 7:30".

The life of a trawler, is that of dedication. The chances of having a big catch don't come often, but when that sun rises, you want to be out there, and not miss a thing. Otherwise you get to listen to everybody else talking about their big catch, and wishin you would have gone.

Below you will find some quick stats about Plaquemines Parish. I hope you enjoy reading about my home.


Overview - Plaquemines Parish is located just south of Orleans Parish, within the New Orleans Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). It has thriving industrial and residential communities and is conveniently situated to take advantage of the benefits of New Orleans' cultural and commercial activity in addition to the quiet suburban and rural living Plaquemines Parish offers.

Economy - Its large labor force, excellent transportation network, abundant raw materials, and land for commercial and industrial development make Plaquemines Parish an ideal prospect for business investment in a wide range of industries. The economic activity of Plaquemines Parish revolves around the industrial base along the Mississippi River, particularly in Oil & Gas Services and related industries, while commercial fishing and truck farming also thrive locally.

Market Access - Plaquemines Parish's location along the Mississippi River and within a regional business market makes it easier to receive and send products to and from other markets, thereby opening up the world to local industries.

Labor Market - Plaquemines Parish has access not only to its labor force of 10.4 thousand (preliminary July, 1996), but also to the entire labor force of surrounding parishes and the region, including the entire New Orleans MSA labor force of almost a million. Louisiana is a Right-to-Work state with some of the most highly productive workers in the country. A 1990 study has shown that locally, the manufacturing output per dollar input greatly exceeds the national average. Also, Louisiana ranks 1st nationally for having the least amount of man-hours lost.

Education - There are 15 colleges and universities within 100 miles of Plaquemines Parish, and there is one vocational technical institute in the parish. The public school system has an enrollment of 4,462 (1993-94 school year), and there are two nonpublic schools.

Quality of Life - Plaquemines Parish enjoys a temperate climate throughout the year. There is an abundance of recreational activities available to local residents, including tennis, golf, boating, hunting and fishing. In addition to several popular annual festivals, there are several historic sites and monuments which help to preserve the unique culture of the area.

Infrastructure - Entergy Corporation provides electric power to all of Plaquemines Parish, with ready transmission access and ample availability. Natural gas, sewerage treatment, and solid waste disposal are also readily available.

Costs/Government - Louisiana has a relatively light tax burden, as does Plaquemines Parish. Sales tax, including state, parish and city, runs 7% (1996). State Corporate Income tax ranges from 4% to 8%. Plaquemines Parish is governed by a parish council of ten and a parish president.



Part of the New Orleans MSA, Plaquemines Parish is located in southeast Louisiana, straddling the Mississippi River. From its border with Orleans Parish to the north, Plaquemines extends south to its coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. St. Bernard and Jefferson Parishes flank Plaquemines Parish on its east and west, respectively.


Plaquemines Parish is composed largely of flat, sea-level or below sea-level land. The Mississippi River Delta building process, which deposits rich, alluvial sediment in the Gulf, creates the natural levees, hardwood swamps, open marshes, lakes and bayous which characterize the landscape of Plaquemines Parish.


France claimed the Mississippi River valley by right of LaSalle's exploration in the area between 1682 and 1687. In 1700, Bienville confronted an English ship about 12 miles south of the site of New Orleans, telling the English captain that the land had already been claimed by the French. The Briton eventually turned around, and that section of the river, at the boundary line between St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes, goes by the name "English Turn." Several years after Louisiana came under American rule, Plaquemines Parish was created. The name Plaquemines comes from the French and Indian dialect word for persimmons. The parish was so named by Governor Jean Baptiste, Sieur de Bienville because of the quantities of persimmons growing in the area.



1990 Census 25,575
1995 Estimate (LSU) 26,850
2000 Projection (LSU) 27,630


Most of the communities in Plaquemines Parish have developed along the Mississippi River

Belle Chasse - The largest community in the parish, Belle Chasse is also the northernmost community, closest to New Orleans. It is situated on the west bank of the Mississippi River.

Boothville-Venice - Relatively rural fishing and farming communities, Boothville-Venice is in southernmost Plaquemines, near the Mississippi Delta.

Braithwaite - Located on the east bank of the Mississippi River, Braithwaite is in northern Plaquemines Parish.

Buras-Triumph - Along the west bank of the Mississippi River, Buras-Triumph is in southern Plaquemines.

Empire - In southern Plaquemines along the west bank of the Mississippi River, Empire is known for its good fishing.

Pointe a la Hache - The seat of government in Plaquemines Parish, Point a la Hache is situated along the east bank of the Mississippi River in the central portion of the parish.

Port Sulphur - On the site of an historic port, the community of Port Sulphur is located in central Plaquemines on the west bank of the Mississippi River.


A large labor force, excellent transportation network, abundant raw materials, and land for commercial and industrial development make Plaquemines Parish an ideal prospect for business investment. The Oil & Gas and Petrochemical industries dominate the local industrial base, comprising a significant portion of the manufacturing work force. Chevron Chemical's lube oil additive plant and BP Oil's gasoline refinery are among the major corporations anchoring this economy. Other prominent industries include metal products, marine activities and commercial fishing. Additionally, Freeport Exploration operates a large sulphur mine in southern Plaquemines.


Commercial Fishing - South Plaquemines, around the Mississippi Delta and its tributaries and out toward the deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico, is an economic bonanza of marine life. Economic activity generated from commercial fishing increases with the ability to process the catch, as local fisheries can do, serving as a processing, packaging and distribution point as well.

Metal Products - Amax Metals Recovery works with metals or fabricated steel for a variety of uses, including the manufacture of equipment for Oil & Gas Services or in parts production.

Oil & Gas - Louisiana's oil, natural gas and mineral resources underpin much of the giant petroleum refining and petrochemical manufacturing economy and also provide a huge market for goods and services. In addition to major corporations such as BP, other smaller oil & gas services companies like HBH and Mosby Enterprises flourish in the area. Also, the Oil & Gas Industry spawns new, related industries, as represented by, for example, Petrotech, a company which manufactures control systems for off-shore petroleum production.

Parts Manufacturing - Thriving metal products and shipbuilding industries locally create a niche for parts manufacturing companies like Kencoil, whose operation produces electric motor coi

Petrochemicals - Along the Mississippi River, in
Plaquemines, as well as in neighboring St. Bernard and Jefferson Parishes and upriver toward Baton Rouge, the petrochemical industry dominates the economic base.

Shipbuilding & Repair - Several local companies, such as Elevating Boats and Elmwood Drydock & Repair, take advantage of a location in the midst of so much marine activity and the need for boats to service the off-shore petroleum industry.


Orleans Parish - Martin Marietta, South Central Bell, Hibernia, First Commerce, Exxon, Whitney Bank, Union Carbide, Entergy, Hilton Hotels, Texaco, Chevron, Lykes Brothers Steamship Lines, Freeport-McMoRan, J.H. Rutter Rex Manufacturing, Marriott, K&B, Trinity Marine, ODEC, Brown's Velvet Dairy Products, Folger Coffee, Georgia Pacific, Spectrum Control Technology, Air Products, Textron Marine, American Waste, Kentwood Spring Water, Amoco, Louisiana Coca-Cola, Wemco, Airco, Bunny Bread, Baumer Foods, Deansgate, Dixie Brewery, Luzianne Coffee, McDermott, Nestle-Hills Brothers Coffee

St. Bernard Parish - Mobil Oil, Murphy Oil, Domino Sugar, Union Texas Petroleum, Cembell Industries, Albach, Corrugated Industries, Violet Dock Port, Calciner

Jefferson Parish - Avondale Shipyards, American Cyanimid, Siemens Medical Systems, National Food Products, Laitram, Pellerin Milnor, Walker Roemer Dairies, Sigma Coatings, NCR, WITCO Chemicals, Kenneth Gordon, Zatarain, Xerox


Plaquemines Parish Economic Development District - This local economic development body aids industry in the identification and selection of suitable sites. It also provides assistance and offers incentives throughout the location process. Additionally, the economic development district develops and promotes industrial growth locally.

Other Industrial Sites - In Plaquemines Parish are many unused and under used industrial sites which offer opportunities for private or joint public-private redevelopment, including adaptation of existing structures to new uses. Sites are available along the Mississippi River near air, rail, and highway and barge transportation systems already in place. Some sites are available with electric power, gas, water, sewage, drainage and rail spur.