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Lafourche is a parish rich in history and culture known for its close-knit, family-centered communities. The towns and communities of Lafourche were settled along its namesake, Bayou Lafourche, which bisects the parish from its northern boundary to its southern boundary at the Gulf of Mexico. Because of the continuous pattern of homes and businesses built along the bayou, many refer to the bayou as the “Longest Street in the World.” The parish was originally inhabited by Native American tribes and later by European, African, and English settlers. Many of the residents of Lafourche can trace their ancestry back to these early settlers, strengthening the sense of community that is distinctive to southern Louisiana. The fertile bayou delta fostered small vegetable farms as well as large sugarcane plantations that continue to thrive. The numerous waterways and marshes of the parish produce bountiful catches of fish, seafood, and other wildlife, giving rise to its reputation as a sportsmen’s paradise. The parish’s economy is also made up of a shipbuilding industry and the onshore and offshore oil industry.