Ted Falgout took the reins of Port Fourchon in 1978 – then a small coastal port in Louisiana. There were two tenants located on four acres of land and a budget of about $200,000. Today, Port Fourchon is home to 150 companies, spread through 800 acres of land with a project to almost double capacity and a $70 million to $80 million budget. The facility, located at the mouth of Bayou Lafourche on the Gulf of Mexico, plays a key role in supplying the nation with 18 percent of its total oil supply and services more than 90 percent of the Gulf’s deepwater oil production.
On Dec. 10, an old fashioned roast was held in honor of his retirement, filling a local civic center with dignitaries, friends and family. Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle served as MC during the festivities, which were lively and, in typical Cajun fashion, blessed with an array of seafood dishes and jokes appropriate for the occasion.
Those taking the microphone to roast Falgout were: Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chairman Garret Graves, South Lafourche Levee District GM Windell Curole, Port of West St. Mary Director Phil “Pudgy” Prejean, Falgout’s sons Mark and Mike, Gulf Island Fabrication Executive Roy Francis, and Greater Lafourche Port Commission Operations Manager Davie Breaux.
The ceremony was fitting for a man who brought the plight of Louisiana’s coastal land loss and environmental issues to local, state and federal officials when “green” policy wasn’t cool. With a bachelor’s degree in marine fisheries and master’s degree in extension education, Falgout was the perfect fit for an energy port, which had to create land and work within a wetlands environment to succeed and to thrive.
Through his work, the port took on many environmental initiatives, including beautification programs, hurricane protection projects, eco-tourism opportunities, and, of course, coastal restoration.
Falgout, who is active in the America’s Energy Coast initiative, also worked tirelessly as chairman of the LA 1 Coalition, which secured more than $350 million in transportation funds to build a new elevated roadways leading to Port Fourchon and Grand Isle – Louisiana’s only inhabited barrier island.
Port Fourchon – known to anyone who works for or within the workboat industry in the Gulf of Mexico, will forever be indebted to Falgout’s leadership and focus. However, I suspect the avid outdoorsman will not stray far from the causes and efforts he’s undertaken during his career. Don’t suspect Falgout – the alligator farmer – to wind down hunting and fishing each day. In fact, one can now find him at Ted M. Falgout and Associates in Larose, La. Thanks Ted for your many years of service to an industry, state and environment.