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Vernon E. Behrhorst Papers

Collection 382

Behrhorst, Vernon E. (1928–2004). Papers, 1956–2004, n.d.

39 feet

Vernon Eldor Behrhorst was born in Brazilton, Kansas on August 22, 1928. He received his B.S. in Education and Geography in 1951 from Concordia University and his M.A. in Geography in 1956 from Northwestern University. For his Geography M.A., he specialized in water resources, cartography, and Latin America.

In 1957, Behrhorst became an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). During this time, he began conducting research on Louisiana’s water resources and became involved in its development. He served multiple positions for the Louisiana Intracoastal Seaway Association (LISA), including as Chairman, President, and Executive Director. The aim of the association was to manage tasks such as water supply, wetlands management, and flood control. One act Behrhorst was influential on was helping pass legislation for the Louisiana Coastal Area Study, which would develop a coastal zone management program. His involvement with LISA ran from 1958 to 1991.

Behrhorst also served as an administrator for the Governor’s Office of Water Policy in Louisiana, Assistant Director of the National Ports and Waterways Institute at Louisiana State University, and Executive Director of the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association (GICA) in Lafayette, LA. This latter position included working with governmental and private agencies to insure the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway’s operation and maintenance. Such agencies involved were the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency, and various state departments. Some of Behrhorst’s accomplishments as Executive Director of GICA include securing endorsement of the Industrial Canal Lock, securing the authorization, funding, and construction of the Sargent Beach (Texas) Revetment to prevent erosion of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway into the Gulf of Mexico, and collaborating with Legend International Films to produce and distribute the documentary Divided Waters - The Connecting Link.

Retiring in 1995, Behrhorst still remained active in water projects. In 1997, he received the National Rivers Hall of Fame Achievement Award. He would go on to volunteer as a special advisor for the Hall of Fame and Mississippi River Museum. He was also instrumental in helping the Special Collections department at Tulane University’s Howard-Tilton Memorial Library acquire historical waterways materials. In 2004, he received the first Lifetime Membership Award from GICA. Vernon Behrhorst passed away on November 29, 2004 at age 76.

This collection contains Behrhorst’s papers related to the organizations, associations, and conferences for which he was involved. These papers include project proposals, correspondence, reports, memorandums, and materials from conferences. There are also photographs and audiovisual materials on reels and VHS.

These papers were transferred from Tulane University’s Louisiana Research Collection to Dupré Library’s University Archives and Acadiana Manuscripts Collection by Leon Miller in 2016.

Note: Box 20 is RESTRICTED

See also: Collection 112 - Louisiana Intracoastal Seaway Association Records
  Collection 384 - Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association Collection


A. Projects and Proposals
    a. Coastal Louisiana 1-01 through 4-11
    b. Government and Law 4-12 through 5-18
    c. Ports and Waterways 5-19 through 6-08
B. Research and Studies
    a. Wetlands/Coastal 6-09 through 7-01
    b. Ports 7-02 through 7-16
    c. Government 7-17 through 9-18
    d. Project Maps 9-19 through 10-03
    e. Coastal Marinas Assessment Handbook 10-04 through 10-12
    f. Coastal Engineering Research Board 10-13 through 10-29
C. Correspondence
    a. Personal/Business 10-30 through 12-14
    b. Organization 12-15 through 13-18
    c. Government 13-19 through 14-10
D. Laws and Regulations
    a. Legislation 14-11 through 15-04
    b. Articles and Information 15-05 through 15-12
    c. Rulings 15-13 through 16-01
    d. Correspondence and Memorandums 16-02 through 16-19
E. Reports
    a. Government 16-20 through 17-11
    b. Behrhorst Partners for Development (BPD) 17-12 through 18-08
    c. Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association (GICA)/Mexico Gulf Waterways 18-09 through 20-03
    d. Professional Services Agreements 20-04 through 20-21
    e. Floods 20-22 through 20-29
F. Conferences
    a. Studies and Correspondence 21-01 through 21-08
    b. Freshwater Lock Bypass Channel 21-09 through 21-14
    c. Lower Mississippi Valley Flood Control Association (1981-1992) 21-15 through 22-10
    d. National Waterways Conference 22-11 through 22-23
    e. International Water for Peace Conference 23-01 through 23-20
    f. Lower Mississippi Valley Flood Control Association (1993-1996) 24-01 through 24-11
    g. Statements, Testimonies, and Speeches 24-12 through 25-12
    h. 10th New Orleans Maritime Seminar 25-13 through 25-18
    i. National Waterways Conference News Releases 25-19 through 25-22
G. Associations
    a. Louisiana - Mississippi Boundary 25-23 through 26-15
    b. Coalitions and Ports 26-16 through 27-16
    c. Waterways Associations 27-17 through 29-04
    d. Commissions 29-05 through 29-46
    e. Lower Mississippi Valley Flood Control Association, Annual Meetings 30-01 through 30-69
    f. Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association (GICA) 31-01 through 32-24
    g. National Rivers Hall of Fame (NRHOF) 33-01 through 33-23
    h. Behrhorst Partners for Development (BPD)/Others 33-24 through 35-08
H. Photographs 35-09 through 36-20
I. Reels and Videos 36-21 through Box 38
J. Oversize Map Case: 39-04 through 39-05


Behrhorst, Vernon E. (1928-2004). Papers, 1956-2004, n.d. (PDF)