I walked down to Bayou St. John yesterday to find that the numerous canoes and kayaks lining the waterway are now rivaled in number by warning signs announcing new restrictions on mooring along the bayou.

I moved to the neighborhood in large part for the allure of paddling the bayou, and have been delighted by the surging interest in recent years of use of this historic waterway for something other than a dump site for old cars.

On my morning runs past the varied-hued vessels lining the bayou’s banks, I feel as though I’ve been transported to Seattle or Venice or Amsterdam. To me, they are representative of the artsy, outdoorsy, laid-back and spirited people who live here — and of the potential for better integrating water into our landscape, and encouraging recreation as a path toward better health.

I understand that there are concerns associated with allowing unchecked boat mooring. Perhaps there is room for compromise that would serve everyone’s interests. What about a registration system requiring periodic renewal to prevent boats from being used one time and left behind? There could even be a fee attached to this, perhaps one used to fund bayou maintenance.

Emilie Jones

writer

New Orleans