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Louisiana Boaters Can Take Free Boating Safety Course at Home

Release Date: 06/21/2011


The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now offering a new online boating safety course provided by the BoatUS Foundation.  The course can be found at or

The new online course is approved by LDWF and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and allows Louisiana boaters to get their safe boating certification at no cost in the comfort of their own home.

"The department wants to provide as many opportunities as possible for people to get their boating safety certification," said Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the state's boating law administrator.  "Since the course is free and people can take it at home, we want to encourage everybody to give it a try even those that don't need their certification.  This free online course will teach new boaters how to become safer on the water and old boaters some new tips."

Louisiana boaters born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.  LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 40,000 boaters during that time.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

With the free online course, those looking to get certified now have three options to choose from: the traditional classroom course taught in one day, the free online course from and an online course for a small fee from

The free online course and exam is recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard as exceeding the minimum requirements for the National Recreational Boating Safety Program.

“We’ve loaded the course with interactive animations, videos and photos to give boaters, sailors and anglers an education that goes well beyond the basics of boating,” said BoatUS Foundation Director of Boating Safety Chris Edmonston. “It includes videos that demonstrate important safety devices such as visual distress signals, how to get help in an emergency, how to prevent and extinguish fires aboard your boat, and the best way to fit a life jacket to a child so they will not slip out.”

Upon successful completion of the course, boaters print out their own certificate of completion as proof of boater education.

About the BoatUS Foundation:
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. Funded primarily by the half million members of BoatUS, it provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America's waterways and keeping boating safe for all. To make a tax-deductible donation to this 501(c)(3) nonprofit, go to

For more information, contact Adam Einck at

L.D.W.F. to Accept Public Bids for Premier Waterfowl Hunting Leases at White Lake

Release Date: 06/15/2011

Agricultural and hunting leases up for competitive public bid summer 2011

June 15, 2011 – Hunting and agricultural leases on the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area will be open for competitive public bid in mid-summer 2011, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). Nearly 35,000 acres of the 71,000-acre property will be available as existing leases expire.

“While we are very grateful to our current leaseholders who have all been good stewards of the land, we have a responsibility to the citizens of Louisiana to allow all who would like a hunting or agricultural lease the opportunity to bid on it,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “Opening these leases up for competitive public bid ensures that the state will get fair market value for this land, as well as responsible tenants.”

Public waterfowl hunts and lease revenues offset LDWF’s operational costs to maintain the White Lake WCA acreage and facilities which exceed $1 million annually. The department is also facing erosion abatement costs along the Intracoastal Waterway that must be addressed.

The bid packets detailing land use stipulations and minimum per acre lease costs will be available July 17. Interested parties will have access to bid details online via the LDWF website or by mail upon request. Completed bid packages must be returned to LDWF by close of business on August 17. Following review of all bids submitted, winning bids will be announced in September.

To review the parcels and acreage totals that will be available during the bid process or request more information, visit on the LDWF website. Anyone without access to the LDWF website can call 225-765-2812 or send a letter of request to:

White Lake Wetlands WCA Bid Process 2011
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
P. O. Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA  70898-9000

LDWF is currently working to secure an assessment of local leases values, which will aid in establishment of minimum bid values. Agricultural practices will also have to be maintained by those awarded leases in September. The term for all new leases will be 10 years with annual lease payments required.

LDWF’s public waterfowl hunts, including the annual youth hunt, lottery hunts and corporate hunts, will still be offered by the department on the White Lake property as they have been since 2005. Plans have been made to expand public hunting opportunities beginning this fall.

LDWF began management of White Lake Preserve in 2005 as part of a transition agreement entered into between White Lake Preservation, Inc., and the state of Louisiana, and approved by BP America Production.

The property, near Gueydan in Vermilion Parish, was donated to the state in 2002 by BP and the transfer of management authority was mandated by legislation passed during the 2004 session. The original donation framework granted management control to White Lake Preservation, Inc., a non-profit charitable entity overseen by a designated board. Legislative action, approved in Act 613, placed property management decision-making under the control of LDWF and a 10-member advisory board appointed by the governor.

To request a lease packet or inquire about the stipulations of the competitive bid process, please contact Buddy Baker at 225-765-2812 or For all media inquiries or interview requests, please contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or

Events, Grants, Programs, and Resources


Plasma Arc Technology Community Forum – June 16th
Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University is sponsoring a Community Forum.
          -Get an up-to-date analysis of the recent Sun Energy proposal.
          -Learn more about adverse health and environmental impacts of the proposed facility.
          -Get information on recent case studies.
The Community Forum will be held Thursday, June 16, 2011 at Dillard University, Professional Schools Building, Room 135, at 6:30 pm. Please see attachment for more information.

National Ocean Policy- Gulf of Mexico Listening Session- June 27
          The National Ocean Council and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would like to invite you to the National Ocean Policy - Gulf of Mexico Regional Listening Session. The listening session will begin with a plenary session that will provide a general overview of the National Ocean Policy and strategic action plan outlines. The plenary will be followed by concurrent breakout sessions where in-person participants will be able to provide comments about the outlines.
          Pre-registration is highly encouraged and will close on Saturday, June 25, 2011. On-site registration will be available on Monday, June 27, 2011 starting at 4:30 pm. The meeting space is fully accessible.  If you have special needs or require translation, please let us know.
Please register at:
The strategic action plan outlines can be downloaded at:
For the agenda and more information on the Regional Listening Session, or to provide your comments online, please visit:

Climate survey from CLiPSE
          The Climate Literacy Partnership for the Southeast (CLiPSE) is conducting a Climate Stewardship Survey (CSS) as part of their endeavor to gather information about what people in the Southeastern U.S. think and know about the climate and environmental stewardship. Please go online to anonymously complete this 10-minute survey found at:
We encourage you to publish this Web address in your newsletters, bulletins, etc. The survey will close at 11:59 pm, Sunday, July 10.


FY2012 Prevention, Control, and Mitigation of Harmful Algal Blooms (PCM HAB) Program Request for Proposals
          The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is pleased to announce a competition for research funding under the Prevention, Control, and Mitigation of Harmful Algal Blooms (PCM HAB) Program. Under this competition, NOAA seeks to advance research on mitigating the effect of harmful algal blooms, or HABs, which is a growing problem affecting our nation’s coastal and Great lakes ecosystems. HABs can result in a number of social, economic and ecological problems, such as contaminated seafood and drinking water, the mortality of fish and wildlife, negative public health outcomes, and costly economic impacts to coastal and Great Lakes communities. Through this funding opportunity, NOAA will support research that improves assessment of the societal and economic impacts of HABs, or determines the costs and benefits of management strategies used to mitigate, control or prevent outbreaks.
          To view the full request for proposals please visit and search for Funding Opportunity Number NOAA-NOS-NCCOS-2012-2002987. Please direct questions about the PCM HAB Program or funding competition to Dr. Quay Dortch, Program Coordinator, Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB), by phone at 301-713-3338 ext 157 or by email at Additional program information can be viewed online at:

Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research, Fiscal Year 2012, National Competitive Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Programs;jsessionid=lhY1NpmTrnXT15LrW4Ppl8ZPLw4rllmP7p76LNhJZwNtB8y0xv0y!-574933939?oppId=96835&mode=VIEW
Please see attachment for information.


Training Opportunity: Coastal Community Resilience Index – July 27th-28th
          The Gulf of Mexico Alliance invites you to a training of facilitators for the Resilience Index. The Index is a simple self-assessment tool communities can use to examine their preparedness for tropical events. Trained facilitators will lead community leaders through the Index and guide valuable discussions about preparedness and resilience. Training will be held at the Estuarine Habitats and Coastal Fisheries Center, Lafayette, LA (646 Cajun Dome Blvd Suite 127) for Sea Grant agents, Extension agents, NERRs, NEPs, and other organizations.
In addition to providing key resources to the communities you serve, participation in the implantation of the Index may satisfy strategic planning tasks related to community resiliency in your organization.
          Registration is FREE. **Travel funds are available. Please contact us if you require travel funding to participate.** To register for this workshop, contact Jody Thompson by Wednesday, July 13, 2011. For more information about the Index, visit
          This workshop is made possible by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gulf of Mexico Program, Gulf of Mexico Alliance, Gulf Sea Grant, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Auburn University Marine Extension and Research Center. Many thanks to Louisiana Sea Grant, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, Texas Sea Grant, Gulf Coast Services Center, National Estuarine Research Reserves Coastal Training Program, University of Florida College of Law, Florida Sea Grant, Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration, and Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Please see attachment for more information.


CWPPRA Releases New Video
We invite you to take a look at our newest video:
          Over the past 20 year, the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) has been dedicated to planning and implementing projects along coastal Louisiana in efforts to preserve a national treasure – Louisiana’s land and future.
          To date, we have successfully completed 91 projects; have 11 projects under construction and 47 projects in the engineering and design phase. Currently there are 149 total active CWPPRA projects in coastal Louisiana. We attribute this great success to the public, local governments, and the partnering federal agencies that work together with the State to construct and maintain these projects.
          Our continued success would not be possible without public support and education about the volatile state of wetland areas. The key to our future can be summed up with one word, numbers. The greater number of people that have knowledge of what is going on and how it will impact our future and the future of generations to come, the better chance we have at protecting and preserving Louisiana’s wetlands.
Thank you for your support and enjoy the video! The CWPPRA Public Outreach Team

Gulf Alliance Offers “Dead Zone” Information
Biloxi, MS-June 14, 2011- Recent record flooding on the Mississippi River has devastated dozens of communities by destroying homes, businesses, and farm land. Scientists are now concerned that this additional water from acres of flooded, fertilized farm land will have negative impacts on the Gulf of Mexico. Water that runs off of farm lands contains excess nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) from a number of sources which contribute to the creation of the “Dead Zone”, an annual phenomenon in the Gulf.
          Every summer, this Dead Zone occurs in the Gulf when the oxygen in the water gets so low that fish and other marine life either swim away or die. Low oxygen, or hypoxia, happens as nutrient-rich freshwater from the Mississippi and the Atchafalaya rivers flow into the Gulf at the same time as the surface waters of the Gulf become very warm. The Gulf Dead Zone is the largest hypoxic area in the United States. Even without record-setting floods, the Dead Zone has been measured by scientists to be larger than the size of New Jersey in recent years. A larger than average Dead Zone threatens valuable commercial and recreational Gulf fisheries.
          Healthy and productive Gulf fisheries support strong communities and a regional economy. That’s why the Gulf of Mexico Alliance and its partners created THE PRIMER ON GULF OF MEXICO HYPOXIA ( The Alliance is committed to developing and implementing strategies that reduce nutrient inputs and hypoxia. The Primer was published in conjunction with Alliance partners including the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, and the Mississippi River Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force. The publication includes common questions and answers about hypoxia, such as what it is, what causes it, and what can be done about it.
          The Gulf of Mexico Alliance recognizes the economy and quality of life for citizens of the Gulf are linked to its ecological health. As the result of a shared vision for a healthy and resilient Gulf of Mexico region, the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas formalized the Alliance in 2004. A not-for-profit organization, the Alliance’s mission is to enhance the ecological and economic health of the Gulf region by encouraging collaboration among government agencies, businesses, educators and non-governmental organizations. Priority issues addressed by the Alliance include water quality, habitat conservation, ecosystem assessment, nutrient impacts, community resilience and environmental education. To learn more about the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, visit


Release Date: 06/13/2011


June 13, 2011 – As temperatures rise, fishing action heats up all across Louisiana, including at the Louisiana Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament.  The series, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), continues to its next scheduled tournament site on June 18, 2011, in Delacroix, La., at Sweetwater Marina.  The series is dedicated to catch-and-release saltwater angling through a series of agency-sponsored fishing tournaments.

The series was developed by LDWF in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to promote conservation of Louisiana’s saltwater sport fish resources and targets one of Louisiana’s most valuable sport fish, redfish.  

The grassroots-based tournament provides anglers with the opportunity to give back to the resource.  Contestants vie for cash prizes and test their skills while enjoying the thrill of the competitive sport. 

Thus far, the competition has attracted over 266 local anglers and more than 252 fish have been tagged.

Each series includes two-man teams with a $200 entry fee for each event. For teams consisting of three members, only two of the members may be 16 or older.  The tournament is a 100 percent payout series.

This year, a youth division was established to introduce young anglers to the sport of fishing, and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation. Participants under 16 years of age will compete against one another in a separate category for trophy catch; all youth anglers will be recognized. 

The 2011 series is comprised of six fishing events and a championship. Tournament locations are scheduled across the coast.  The remainder of the 2011 tournament schedule is as follows: 

  •  July 23 Slidell, Dockside Bait and Tackle/The Dock;
  •  August 20 Port Fourchon, Moran’s Marina; and
  • Championship October 7 and 8 Empire, The Delta Marina.

Online registration for the tournament will close on Thursday, June 16 at noon, but those interested in participating can register at Sweetwater Marina from 4:45 to 5:45 a.m., the morning of the event.  Only cash or checks will be accepted for payment of registration fees the morning of the event. 

Food will be provided during weigh-in for all registered participants. 

For complete information, including rules, regulations and entry forms go to

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-5113.

LDWF Reopens Portion of Atchafalaya Basin To All Boat Traffic

Release Date: 06/13/2011


The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has reopened all boat traffic for a four-mile long stretch in the Atchafalaya Basin in St. Martin Parish starting at noon today, June 13.

The department closed an area from the Henderson levee on the west side to the Butte La Rose levee on the east side to all boat traffic on May 26.  The width of the previous closure ran from the Interstate 10 Bridge on the south side to a line 1/2 a mile north of the bridge on the north side.

The closure area was due to the high water conditions that were caused by the opening of the Morganza Spillway.  The elevated water in the area put the Entergy high voltage electrical transmission lines that run from the Henderson levee to the Butte La Rose levee at a dangerous clearance level for boat traffic.

With water conditions slowly declining in the basin, the department has determined that the power line is now high enough above the water for boat traffic to safely travel under the line.

The reopened area consists of the portion of the Atchafalaya Basin Spillway between the West Protection (Guide) levee and the Butte La Rose levee on the west bank of the Atchafalaya River, which is south of a line running from 30.331556, -91.7881 to 30.349317, -91.723331 and which is north of a line running from 30.323706, -91.788605 to 30.342755, -91.7196.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at or 225-765-2465.

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Scheduled to Meet June 14, 2011

Release Date: 06/10/2011

The Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council will meet Tuesday, June 14 at 1:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:

      1. Roll Call

      2. Approval of Minutes of March 15, 2011

      3. Welcome and Opening Comments from Chairman

      4. Enforcement Division Report

      5. Office of Fisheries: Report on Spillway Floodwaters in Lake Pontchartrain and the Atchafalaya Basin

      6. Office of Wildlife: Report on Flood Impacts to the Atchafalaya Basin and Batture Lands

      7. Office of Fisheries: Report on the Aquatic Vegetation Control Program

      8. HB 477: Expropriation from Artificial Reef Trust Fund - Discussion

      9. Sector Separation - Discussion

    10. Set Next Meeting Date

    11. Receive Public Comments

    12. Adjournment

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or


Release Date: 06/09/2011


The Artificial Reef Council has scheduled a meeting for 1:00 p.m. June 13, 2011 in the Louisiana Room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

  1. Introduction                      
  2. Approval of minutes
  3. Program Update
  4. To consider Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s June 2, 2011 request to fully utilize the Artificial Reef Fund and remove the Artificial Reef Council’s January 21, 2005 motion to preserve a base fund.
  5. To discuss the development of inshore and nearshore artificial reef plans.
  6. Presentation on the use of reclaimed oyster shell and recycled concrete for constructing inshore and nearshore artificial reefs.
  7. Other business
  8. Public comments
  9. Council action
  10. Adjourn

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at, on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, please contact Laura Deslatte at (225) 610-2363.

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