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Field Science Education Workshops This Week!

University of New Orleans – Coastal Education and Research Facility
Southeastern Louisiana University – Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station
Partner to Present Two Environmental Science Teachers’ Field Workshops
With a focus on Louisiana’s Coastal Wetlands and the Lake Pontchartrain Estuary

Come join us for an exciting field workshop at each of our two field stations!
THURSDAY, MAY 26 (at UNO CERF) and FRIDAY, MAY 27 (at Turtle Cove)
9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Teachers may attend either or both of the workshops

The staff at SLU’s Turtle Cove and UNO’s Coastal Education and Research Facility partnered to develop complementary programs at their two field stations. Recognizing that our two facilities located in the Lake Pontchartrain estuary offer unique learning opportunities for area students, we collaborated to strengthen both of our programs. The result is educational programming and resource materials for teachers and students that can open up an exciting world of exploratory learning to a wide range of ages.

Our field stations
UNO’s Coastal Education and Research Facility (CERF) is a recent addition to the field-based facilities in our area offering educational programs focusing on our coastal wetlands. Located in eastern Orleans Parish, just 30 minutes from downtown New Orleans, surrounded by brackish marshes, and equipped with classrooms, canoes and boats, as well as overnight facilities for small groups, this is an ideal place to learn about the importance of our wetlands. We focus on providing active science learning experiences for students in grades 1 – 12 in order to increase awareness and understanding of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.

Southeastern's Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station is located on Pass Manchac between Lake's Maurepas and Pontchartrain. The mission of the station is to help facilitate a better understanding of coastal wetland issues by provide facility and equipment support to researchers and educators from around the region who conduct wetland ecology, cypress restoration, and other wetland-related activities in the field. Turtle Cove staff also conduct education and outreach activities such as field trips to K-12 and other community groups. To learn more about program please visit our website at

The workshops will include the following activities at both facilities:
Water quality and biological sampling; plant identification exercises; sample learning activities from our Field Trip Guide. There will be opportunities to for teachers who attend both workshops to make comparisons between the habitats at the two field stations. Teachers will also collect data that can be entered into an interactive data web site for long-term use.

Each participant will receive a copy of our Field Trip Guide, which is a compilation of activities and ideas for teachers to use inside and outside the classroom to introduce their students to the study of our coastal wetlands.

Agendas are attached.

Louisiana Safe Boating Week Set For May 21-27

Release Date: 05/20/2011


Louisiana is once again participating in the national "Safe Boating Week" that is scheduled for May 21-27 and signifies the beginning of the spring and summer boating season.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will again be reminding all boaters to be safe, responsible and knowledgeable while on the water during this safe boating week.  Safe Boating Week is a time for all boaters to inspect their vessels to ensure that all required safety equipment is on board and that vessels are in good working condition.

LDWF Enforcement Division agents will be out in full force during the week to perform boating safety checks and driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) patrols.  Each vessel should have enough personal flotation devices (PFD) on board for all occupants and a sober operator.

"Personal flotation devices are made to be worn and not sit in a vessel storage compartment.  Even if you consider yourself to be a strong swimmer, we (LDWF) still encourage everyone on a boat to wear a personal flotation device whenever the boat is in motion," said LDWF Boating Safety Officer Capt. Rachel Zechenelly.  “A personal flotation device on a boat should be treated the same as a seatbelt in a car, because they are both easy to use and are proven to save lives."

LDWF boating incident statistics indicate that nearly 74 percent of boating fatalities were people that drown because the person was not wearing a PFD.  LDWF regulations state that anyone 16 years of age and younger must wear a PFD while underway in vessels less than 26 foot long.  For more boating and PFD regulations, please visit

In Louisiana in 2009 alcohol use was listed as the leading primary cause of fatal boating crash incidents accounting for 24 percent or six deaths.  Alcohol consumption impairs a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  Alcohol also increases fatigue and susceptibility to hypothermia.  Intensifying the effects of alcohol are sun, wind, noise, vibration and movement, which are all common to boating activities.

LDWF agents issued 216 DWI citations to boat operators in 2009.  The penalties for DWI on the water are the same as on the road.  Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI on the water or on the road carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.  Again, every DWI offense is also subject to a suspension of driving a vehicle and operating a boat privileges.

"One of the best parts of our job is to see people utilize Louisiana's waterways for recreation in accordance to the boating safety regulations and return home safely to loved ones.  However, the worst part of our job is to search for deceased bodies and notify family members of their loss," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State Boating Law Administrator.  "The two ways to make boating safe, fun and a memorable experience is to have a sober operator and to have everyone wear a personal flotation device when the vessel is underway."

LDWF also wants to remind anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 that they are required to successfully complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower.  LDWF offers these classes free of charge statewide.  For a list of courses, please visit

For more information, contact Adam Einck at

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