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Last Update: Saturday September 25, 2021

A discovery process for NOLA area economic development

The Necklaces of New Orleans

Three excursions - click here for large map


This project started as a result of two trips, one to Venice and the other to Grand Isle.  The idea was launched, "Might there be some manner of connecting the two with a CAR FERRY?"

To date, to the best of the knowledge of many local people who would know, there has never been a time when the two have had such a service.

The concept:  Ferry service for 12-to-as-many-as-32 cars. A 35-to-45 mile, one-way trip.  Of course, there are huge obstacles in thinking through such a project.  And,  it is easy to discount such a concept quickly and completely.

The key question:  Knowing what you know about the way Louisiana does business,  do you think it is feasible, worth the time for further study?

Benefit statement
:  Allowing three hours for that ferry connection or four trips per day, that would put an additional 24-to-64 vehicles in Venice or Grand Isle each day.  All of them would be potential customers of restaurants, hotels, and fishing charters.

The financial picture: A relatively small investment group of about 25 could test the concept,  "Make the Circle - Connect the Loop"  between Grand Isle and Venice (or Empire or Buras) with a 12-to-32-car ferry?  If it works and government does not impede, there could be a two-step, two-year program to develop an initial offering.  A second car ferry could connect Grand Isle and Lafitte.  Existing ferries across the Mississippi River are operational today.

1.  Inject local economies with more tourism revenue
2.  Goal:  Make it a tourist destination, discover the rest of the New New Orleans
3.  Options:  One-day, two-day, or three-day trip excursions

Who benefits from the increase in traffic?
1.  Restaurants along the path
2.  All tourists destinations along the way such as Fort Jackson
3.  Overnight stays: hotels-motels, B&Bs, inns, camps, etc
4.  Fishing expedition sites
5.  Boat rental sites

Each location is challenged to create seasonal "Kodak moments" for these guests along the roadways.

That experience on the water and making the loop, as many as 64 cars and the people per day, would create a new love affair for many of the two arms that protect New Orleans.

Who's who?  

Six Parishes:  

  • Jefferson Parish, John Young, president  
    Marnie Winter, Director, Jefferson Parish Environmental Affairs  Economic Development and Planning, Ed Durabb, Director, 1221 Elmwood Pk Blvd., Suite 601, Jefferson, LA 70123  T:504.736.6320          
  • Lafourche Parish: Charlotte A. Randolph,  Parish President, P.O. Drawer 5548,  Thibodaux, LA 70302 ○ Telephone 985.446.8427 
  • Orleans Parish
  • Plaquemines Parish: President Billy Nungesser, born-1959, William Harold    Note:  Federal Emergency Management Agency, May 2012,  $582,000 in consolidated federal funding to Plaquemines Parish for contents damaged during Hurricane Katrina throughout several of their emergency management system buildings.
  • St. Bernard Parish: President David E. Peralta, 8201 W. Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette, LA 70043  T:  504.278.4227  Possible stops include Arabi, Chalmette, Versailles, Meraux, Violet , Eastern St. Bernard, Caernarvon, Contreras, Delacroix Island, Hopedale, Kenilworth, Poydras, Reggio, St.Bernard Village, Toca, Verret, Yscloskey.  No locations have been added below yet., This program could be started today. The ferries currently exist to start immediately testing the St. Bernard Parish loops.
  • St. Charles Parish: President, V.J. St. Pierre, Jr. 15045 River Road, P.O. Box 302, Hahnville, LA 70057 T: 985.783.5000  Possible stops include  Luling, Boutte, Des Allemands, Paradis

Global resources are already involved

A group of creative people from around the world already know and love New Orleans and these loop tours of the beads of New Orleans necklace become another very sweet selling proposition to get their people to come to this region for a visit. More...

AuthorBruce Camber,  River Ridge

Note:  In 2009 we moved into the New Orleans area after 14 years of weekly television productions of our series on PBS-TV, Small Business School.  It focused on best business practices.  Today, I am in the process of starting a think tank for new business starts.  This concept of a car ferry could become a classic project.   We would not own it or even manage it.  Our first step is to initiate the concept to see if it is worthy of being tested.  If it passes initial tests and an expert with ferries or big boats picks it up, a wish would be answered.  If not, we would then focus on creating an investment group and management team.

This is just one of three big ideas for the greater New Orleans area for which I will be asking for the feedback of the people who really know these communities and the waters that surround them.
The new New Orleans: Three southern excursions to discover the waters --
bays, rivers, lakes and the ocean --  and to discover the people -- cities, towns, that help to make New Orleans what it is.

Three Beaded Necklaces -- each at least a one-day excursion --  and each bead a city, town and village along the way.  Each excursion will take you the best parts of each community.   You'll have opportunities to meet with some of the best people, to eat at the finest restaurants, and to stay at the best B&Bs, fishing camps, plantations, and hotels and motels.  More...

History:  Back in July, I began talking with people who know all the cities, towns and villages south of New Orleans. They know that each leg going south eventually is a dead-end.  To return home, you have got to turn around and drive back the way you came.    

After visiting Grand Isle, and then on another day, Venice, I had a rather crazy idea that perhaps there could be a CAR FERRY from Grand Isle to Venice.  There are many reasons why it is not financially reasonable, yet with enough creative thinking, several people thought it just might be possible. If it could be sold at enough levels,  it just might work.

Building Consensus. I do not know, but I have met with several people who should know, and they believe the concept is worth exploring further.  

Request for the opinions of the insiders.  If you are an insider and know the area well, your opinion is very important..  Such a development could also effect your community.  So, I would like your input before going too much further.  Do you have time to say "hello" and either encourage this exploratory or discourage it?



  1. Avondale (Jefferson Parish)
  2. Barataria   (Jefferson Parish)
  3. Belle Chasse  (Plaquemines Parish)
  4. Boothville-Orchid-Venice   (Plaquemines Parish)
  5. Boutte   (St. Charles Parish)
  6. Bridge City    (Jefferson Parish)
  7. Buras-Triumph:   (Plaquemines Parish)     Hotels:  Saltgrass, 1853 Hwy 11, Buras, LA, 70041
  8. Crown Point (Jefferson Parish)
  9. Cut Off    (LaFourche Parish)
  10. Des Allemands (St. Charles Parish)
  11. Empire    (Plaquemines Parish)
  12. Estelle      (Jefferson Parish)
  13. Galliano    (LaFourche Parish)
  14. Golden Meadow    (LaFourche Parish)
  15. Grand Isle    (Jefferson Parish): Mayor, Hon David Camardelle     P.O. Box 200, LA 70358-0200 (p) (985) 787-3196
  16. Gretna   (Jefferson Parish): Ronnie C. Harris, Mayor,  Gretna Economic Development Association,  President Anthony Buckley III, ,Treasurer Mark Middleton, Correspondence Secretary Peter De Broeck Vice President, Mark Cambre, Sr., Member at Large,   Frank Rocca forte 711 Second St, Gretna, La 70053            (504) 361-7748
  17. Jean Lafitte-Lafitte   (Jefferson Parish): Mayor  Hon. Tim Kerner  Hotels: Welcome Inn, 1055 Jean Lafitte Boulevard Lafitte, LA 70067
  18. Larose    (LaFourche Parish)
  19. Lockport    (LaFourche Parish)
  20. Luling   (St. Charles Parish)
  21. Marrero   (Jefferson Parish)
  22. Mathews  (LaFourche Parish)
  23. Paradis     (St. Charles Parish)
  24. Port Fourchon    (LaFourche Parish)
  25. Port Sulphur   (Plaquemines Parish)
  26. Raceland    (LaFourche Parish)
  27. Timberlane    (Jefferson Parish)
  28. Venice:    (Plaquemines Parish)  Hotels: Lighthouse Lodge ,  42256 Louisiana 23, Venice, Louisiana. 70091  504-534-2522 Charters: Capt. Damon McKnight,  Capt. Chris Wilson
  29. Waggaman     (Jefferson Parish)
  30. West Point a La Hache  (Plaquemines Parish)  Hotels:   Woodland Plantation, 21997 Highway 23, West Point a La Hache, LA 70083   504.656.9990      
  31. Westwego    (Jefferson Parish)

State of Louisiana

Dept Wildlife & Fisheries LDWF
Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) Coastal Management Division
Ornithologist, Michael Seymour, Louisiana Natural Heritage program, nesting chronology of bird colonies within these possible routes
Chris Davis, Biologist,

US Government:

  • Deano Bonano, Homeland Security Chief, Jefferson Parish
  • Army Corps:  Pete J. Serio, Chief, Regulatory Branch PO Box 60267  NOLA 70160-0267
  • Army Corps of Engineers CEMVN  Brad laBorde    504-862-2225  Regulatory Public Notices:


1.  Entergy Corp. presented results of a $4.2 million study that showed that annual economic losses to assets in Orleans and Jefferson Parish could nearly double over 20 years, with $878 million in predicted annual losses in 2010 growing to $1.5 billion annually by 2030, with climate change.  Jeff Williams, director of climate consulting for Entergy Corp.

2.  America's WETLAND Foundation's Blue Ribbon Resilient Communities Forum held on May 28, 2012