District A City Councilwoman Susan Guidry announced on Dec. 9 that Mosquito, Rodent and Termite Control Board employees would begin enforcing a new ordinance to prohibit the mooring of boats along Bayou St. John. The New Orleans City Council passed that ordinance in September. New signage along Bayou St. John also informs boaters that boats left unattended for 24 hours will be impounded by the New Orleans Police Department.
By Dec. 9, eight kayaks and one small boat on Bayou St. John near Moss Street and Orleans Avenue were slapped with neon green stickers, reading, "This items [sic] has been left unintended [sic] in violation of City Code Section 170-62. If this item is not removed within 48 hours of the date of notice, it shall be subjected to NOPD impoundment."
Guidry told Gambit that since she took office in 2010, residents have complained frequently about abandoned boats in the neighborhood. "The boats collect standing water, which can harbor breeding mosquitoes, and they attract snakes, rats and other vermin," she said. "The initial sweep performed by Mosquito Control on Monday, Dec. 8 confirmed that mosquitoes were breeding in some of the abandoned boats."
Guidry said the boats also are hazards to children and, if the boats drift into the bayou, obstruct a public right of way. "My ordinance does not seek to prohibit use of the bayou but to encourage individuals to take personal responsibility for their private property," she said.