Belle Chasse, Louisiana

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Belle Chasse, Louisiana
Census-designated place
Belle Chasse Auditorium
Belle Chasse Auditorium
Belle Chasse, Louisiana is located in Louisiana
Belle Chasse, Louisiana
Belle Chasse, Louisiana
Location of Belle Chasse in Louisiana
Coordinates: 29°51′08″N 89°59′54″W / 29.85222°N 89.99833°W / 29.85222; -89.99833Coordinates: 29°51′08″N 89°59′54″W / 29.85222°N 89.99833°W / 29.85222; -89.99833
CountryUnited States
StateLouisiana
ParishPlaquemines
Area
 • Total28.4 sq mi (74 km2)
 • Land24.9 sq mi (64 km2)
 • Water3.5 sq mi (9 km2)
Elevation
7 ft (2 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total10,579
 • Density370/sq mi (140/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s)504

Belle Chasse (/bɛl ˈs/ bel CHAYSS) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, United States, on the west bank of the Mississippi River. Belle Chasse is part of the Greater New Orleans metropolitan area. The population was 10,579 at the 2020 United States census.[1] Belle Chasse is the largest community in Plaquemines Parish. It is home to Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, a Naval Air Station for the U.S. Navy Reserve.[2]

History[edit]

Bell from Benjamin's Belle Chasse Plantation at the Public Library

There is little consensus regarding the origin of the name Belle Chasse. In French, belle chasse literally means "beautiful hunting." It is widely believed that it was so named due to the richness of wildlife which the initial French colonists observed when they settled in the region. Others say that Belle Chasse was named after a Colonel Joseph D. Bellechasse, who lived in New Orleans around the late 18th and early 19th century. Alternatively, it was named after the plantation of Deville de Goutin Bellechasse.[3]

The Confederate statesman Judah P. Benjamin was the most famous owner of the Belle Chasse plantation. After falling into decay and abandonment by the 1930s, the landmark plantation house was demolished in 1960.[4] The bell was salvaged and today is in front of the Belle Chasse Public Library.

The Naval Air Station was founded in 1920 on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain, but in 1957 it relocated to its current location (Belle Chasse, Louisiana). It has been designated as a Joint Forces Reserve Air Station. It is home to various naval air units as well as an Air Force Reserve fighter squadron and a Marine Corps Reserve helicopter unit. In March 2009, U.S. Navy Reserve Airborne Early Warning Squadron 77 (VAW-77) relocated its six E-2C aircraft from NAS Atlanta, GA to Belle Chasse. The squadron routinely deploys to the Caribbean on counter-narcotic operations. The squadron aircrew are all U.S. Naval Reservists while the maintenance department for the aircraft is run by Northrop Grumman Field Services.

Geography[edit]

Belle Chasse is located at 29°51′48″N 89°59′54″W / 29.86333°N 89.99833°W / 29.86333; -89.99833 (29.852243, -89.9983335), in the New Orleans metropolitan area.[5] According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 28.4 square miles (74 km2), of which 24.9 square miles (64 km2) is land and 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2) (12.21%) is water.

Demographics[edit]

Belle Chasse racial composition as of 2020[6]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 8,024 75.85%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 633 5.98%
Native American 71 0.67%
Asian 353 3.34%
Pacific Islander 15 0.14%
Other/Mixed 481 4.55%
Hispanic or Latino 1,002 9.47%

At the 2019 American Community Survey, there were 14,024 people living in Belle Chasse, up from 12,679 in 2010.[7] The 2020 United States census reported a population decline at 10,579.[1]

The racial and ethnic makeup of the community was 79.4% non-Hispanic white, 11.6% African American, 0.6% American Indian and Alaska Native, 2.4% Asian, 2.0% some other race, and 3.9% two or more races. Hispanic and Latino Americans were 10.5% of the population in 2019. In 2020, its makeup was 75.85% non-Hispanic white, 5.98% Black or African American, 3.34% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 4.55% two or more races, and 9.47% Hispanic and Latino American, reflecting the demographic transition of the U.S.[8]

In 2019, the median age was 35.0, and 8.2% of the population were aged 5 and under; 70.7% of the population was aged 18 and older, and 10.7% were aged 65 and older. Among the population, 11.4% spoke a language other than English at home, and Spanish was the second most-spoken language. In the census-designated place, the median income for a household was $66,653,[7] and $50,169 was the median income for males versus $41,623 for females. An estimated 11.3% of the population lived at or below the poverty line.

Culture and arts[edit]

Belle Chasse is home to the famous "Orange Fest," "Crawfish Fest," and "Gamers Fest." It is also home to the Plaquemines Parish Seafood Festival.[9]

Education[edit]

Plaquemines Parish School Board operates public schools.

Belle Chasse Primary, Belle Chasse Middle, Belle Chasse High School, Belle Chasse Academy, Plaquemines Parrish Alternative School.[10]

At first Belle Chasse High, which opened in 1928,[11] was K-12, but in 1977 Belle Chasse Middle School opened to take the middle grades away.[12] Belle Chasse Primary opened in August 1994.[13] Belle Chasse Middle received the 5th grade in 1999.[12]

Belle Chasse also has a Catholic School, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School.[14]

Government[edit]

Belle Chasse is the current and temporary home of the Plaquemines Parish Courthouse.[15]

Parish president[edit]

Amos Cormier, Jr. was once a resident of Port Sulphur and resided in Belle Chasse when he died.[16] Kirk Lepine defeated incumbent Amos Cormier III in a runoff election on Dec. 8 2018 to become Plaquemines Parish President.

National Guard[edit]

Belle Chasse serves as a headquarters for the Louisiana Air Force National Guard and home of the 159th Fighter Wing.[17] It served as the principal helicopter staging area for rescue operations during Hurricane Katrina.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "QuickFacts: Belle Chasse CDP, Louisiana". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  2. ^ "Belle Chasse CDP, Louisiana[permanent dead link]." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 22, 2010.
  3. ^ "Description, history and architecture of Belle Chasse Plantation in Belle Chasse, Louisiana circa 1930s". Louisiana Digital Library. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  4. ^ Lewis, Richard Anthony; Cangelosi Jr., Robert J. (February 7, 2015). "Belle Chasse Plantation" (PDF). Project Muse: 79. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. ^ "2020 Race and Population Totals". data.census.gov. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  7. ^ a b "Geography Profile: Belle Chasse CDP, Louisiana". data.census.gov. Retrieved 2021-08-02.
  8. ^ Tavernise, Sabrina; Gebeloff, Robert (2021-08-12). "Census Shows Sharply Growing Numbers of Hispanic, Asian and Multiracial Americans". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-01-05.
  9. ^ Mattison, Patty (May 27, 2010). "Seafood Festival will go on in Belle Chasse - But shrimp, oysters remain a question". The Times-Picayune Publishing Corporation. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  10. ^ "Plaquemines Parish School District". education.com. education.com. Retrieved 2015-02-22.
  11. ^ "School Profile." Belle Chasse High School. Retrieved on December 3, 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Home." Belle Chasse Middle School. February 7, 2004. Retrieved on December 3, 2016.
  13. ^ "Home." Belle Chasse Primary School. May 5, 1994. Retrieved on December 3, 2016.
  14. ^ https://school.olphbc.org/
  15. ^ "Plaquemines Parish Clerk of Court". plaqueminesparishclerkofcourt.com. Cott Systems. Archived from the original on 2015-10-12. Retrieved 2015-02-22.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-24. Retrieved 2015-04-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ Pao, Lang (2012). Pelican Dispatch (PDF). AQP publishing. Retrieved 2015-02-22.

External links[edit]