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2024 UL Lafayette Krewe de Coulee Recap

Blair Begnaud -- Wed, 03/06/2024 - 11:16am

When the Mardi Gras festivities come to an end, what happens to all of the trash left behind after the parades? Discarded trash, litter, and beads from parades affect the beauty of our campus and community and can end up in our stormwater systems and waterways after heavy rains. On Thursday, February 15th, the Office of Sustainability hosted the 2nd annual UL Lafayette Krewe de Coulee Post Mardi Gras Clean Up to help clean up our city's parade routes and keep our coulees clean! We had 170 volunteers in the Krewe de Coulee who collected 1,085 pounds of litter. These volunteers were diverse members of the campus community, consisting of faculty, staff, and students from different academic disciplines. This year we opened the UL Lafayette Krewe de Coulee up to the community and invited partipants to form their own crews 

Litter was not the only thing collected during Krewe de Coulee, data was also collected with a Litter Survey. The Litter Free Louisiana Survey app was utilized to record data during clean-up events. This program is funded by the Trash Free Gulf of Mexico Grant awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pre and post Mardi Gras litter surveys were completed to measure the accumulation of litter following parades on the Johnston St. Route through campus. Krewe Captains were educated on how to use the app before clean-up began.

Stats from the 2nd Annual UL Lafayette Krewe de Coulee

  • 170 registered volunteers
  • 40 Krewes
  • 1 Coulee Monster
  •  2 hours of service
  • 1,085 lbs of litter collected
  • 109 bags of litter collected
  • 19 sites along the parade route
  • 2.25 miles of the parade route cleaned


This year we awarded two Krewes special awards!

Soul Camp was awarded a certificate for bringing the largest krewe to the UL Lafayette Krewe de Coulee:

Krewe de Burger Kings and Queens was awarded a certificate for having the funniest krewe name:

Coulee Monster even made an appearance!

The Coulee Monster is an advocate for keeping litter out of the stormwater systems and coulees of Acadiana. If you litter into the coulee, the Coulee Monster may visit you to pull your lil toes. The Coulee Monster sightings started up again in 2024 but we have photo evidence that the friendly monster has been around campus since the 1900's. In the weeks leading up to the UL Lafayette Krewe de Coulee, the Coulee Monster was spotted around campus and even made an appearance at the clean up to join the volunteers in helping clean up our city before Mardi Gras litter ended up in our coulees and waterways that lead to the Vermilion River.

The Coulee Monster is so invested in our local waterways especially after Mardi Gras because litter is one of the main sources of water pollution. In fact, more than 60% of water pollution is attributed to litter. Litter in waterways impacts water quality and aquatic habitats so aquatic life, birds, and mammals, like the Coulee Monster’s friend, Pirogue the Possum, are threatened.

Coulee Monster Legend 

Legend has it the Coulee Monster roams around Acadiana’s storm drain system, coulees, and waterways cleaning and protecting its home from litter. Coulee Monster is an advocate of keeping litter out of the storm drain systems and subsequent waterways. Like its legendary cousin the Rougarou, the Swamp Monster of Louisiana, the Coulee Monster has also been known to occasionally pull the toes of anyone who dares to litter the watershed under its protection.

As the Acadiana area developed, populations grew in cities, and single-use disposables became more prevalent, litter began to impact our water ways and wildlife. Around the turn of the 19th century, the Coulee Monster migrated from the swamps of Louisiana into the city of Lafayette’s waterways to address the growing amount of litter and pollution.

The Coulee Monster loves Mardi Gras but loathes the amount of litter that makes its way into their home. The Coulee Monster knows that picking up all kinds of litter before it can be washed into the storm drains and coulee is vital to protecting water quality and wildlife, especially their critter friend, Pirogue the Possum. You can often spot the Coulee Monster near the coulees around the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and at Krewe de Coulee.

Thank you!

Thank you to all of the volunteers and krewes who participated in the UL Lafayette Krewe de Coulee! We could not have done this without you.

This year we would like to thank our Sponsors, Parish Proud and UL Dining Services! Parish Proud is a local organization that is dedicated to beautifuying spaces across Acadiana. Together, we have parntered with Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) and the Lemoine Company to safeguard our watershed and clean up our community following festivities! The Lemoine Company donated and strategically placed 16 Rock Wattles along Lafayette’s Mardi Gras Parade Route on UL Lafayette's campus to prevent litter and beads from entering and polluting the stormwater drain system, coulees, and the Bayou Vermilion.

We would also like to thank UL Lafayette's Dining Services for providing snacks and refreshments at the UL Lafayette Krewe de Coulee for Volunteers!