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179 Boaters Certified During "Boating Education Lagniappe Day"

Release Date: 04/26/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) certified 179 boaters statewide after their sixth annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on April 23.

Boating Education Lagniappe Day was at nine locations across the state and consisted of the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

The NASBLA safe boating certification is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 who wants to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The NASBLA approved course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Each student received that completed the course was issued a vessel operators certification card.

To register for a future boating education class please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses and follow the links to register.

Below was the list of class locations for lagniappe day:

Bossier City
Academy Sports & Outdoors - Bossier City
2801 Beene Blvd.
Sponsor is Academy Sports & Outdoors of Bossier City

West Monroe
Academy Sports & Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
Sponsors include the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association (LWAA) and Academy Sports & Outdoors of West Monroe

Alexandria
Academy Sports & Outdoors
3205 South MacArthur Dr.
Sponsor is Academy Sports & Outdoors of Alexandria

Opelousas
St. Landry Lumber
207 North Railroad Ave.
Sponsors include Wal-Mart of Eunice, Raising Canes and LWAA

Deridder
Deridder First Baptist Church
2031 Hwy. 171
Sponsor is the Beauregard Parish Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited

Raceland
Lafourche Parish Sheriff Office Rifle Range
3451 Hwy. 182
Sponsors include the LWAA and Renovations Marine of Cut Off.

Amite
Tangipahoa Parish Library
204 NE Central Ave.
Sponsor is LWAA

Gonzales
Cabelas of Gonzales
2200 West Cabelas Parkway
Sponsors include Cabelas and Louisiana Waterway Safety

Madisonville
St. Tammany Parish Library Madisonville Branch
1123 Main Street
Sponsors include LWAA

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Environmental Education Commission Congratulates Green Ribbon Schools Honorees


Westdale Heights Academic Magnet Students Celebrate their Green Ribbon School Award at an assembly Friday, April 22.

 
Four Louisiana schools have been named  U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, including Westdale Heights Academic Magnet School in Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge Magnet High School, Ben Franklin High School in New Orleans and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
 
The schools were nominated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Education.
 
U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. and Managing Director of the White House Council of Environmental Quality Christy Goldfuss made the announcement in Washington on Friday (April 22).
 
Across the country, 47 schools, 15 districts and 11 postsecondary institutions were honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness and ensure effective sustainability education.
 
“I congratulate these schools, districts and postsecondary institutions for their commitment to sustainable facilities, health, and classroom practices,” King said. “The healthiest, most inspiring school facilities can and should be another tool to level the playing field, particularly for underserved students. These honorees are 21st century learning environments that encourage every student and teacher to perform at his or her best.”
 
The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 25 states, Washington, D.C., and the Department of Defense Department of Education Activity. The honorees include 41 public schools and six private schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 27 elementary, 18 middle, and 14 high schools, with several schools having various K-12 configurations. Fifty-one percent of the 2016 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body. The postsecondary honorees include two community colleges and one work-college.
 
Baton Rouge High Principal Nanette McCann said, "Baton Rouge High Magnet High School is honored to be selected as a 2016 U. S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School.  Our entire faculty, staff, student body, administration and parents played a large part in this effort, but our environmental science teacher, Josetta LeBoeuf, made this happen through her dedication and hard work.  We want to give a special thanks to Aramark and Sandra Lizcano for their help in the project." 
 
"We are honored that the U.S. Department of Education chose UL Lafayette as one of 11 universities to be named a Green Ribbon School. From our founding president planting live oaks to all that we do today in the classroom, labs, research, community service and operational functions, the University remains committed to environmental sustainability and innovation," said University of Louisiana at Lafayette President Joseph Savoie.
 
The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission’s Green Schools Program offers educational and funding opportunities to help reduce schools’ environmental impacts and health disparities that can provoke achievement gaps. It also engages students in hands-on learning. Instruction and activities complement state curriculum with a solid foundation in science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) subjects while teaching civic skills and opening doors to green career pathways. Find more information at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/green-schools.
 
Louisiana’s nominations were submitted by Brian Gautreau, Green Schools Coordinator at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. He can be reached at 225-765-2800 or bgautreau@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Participating in Spring Aboard Safe Boating Program

Release Date: 04/22/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) are participating in the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Spring Aboard program by hosting its sixth annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on April 23 at nine different locations across the state.

During the week of April 17-23, NASBLA encourages boaters to Spring Aboard by enrolling in a boating education course.  Developed by NASBLA, and produced under a grant administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, the annual Spring Aboard campaign is open to participation by all states, territories, boating education organizations, instructors, and course providers.

During Boating Education Lagniappe Day, LDWF will provide instructors for the NASBLA boating education course, NASBLA boating education certification, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

Registration for the Lagniappe Day classes are online and on a first come first serve basis.  To register please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses and follow the links to register for one of the nine April 23 classes.

Anybody 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.

The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.

Below is the list of class locations:

Bossier City
Academy Sports & Outdoors - Bossier City
2801 Beene Blvd.
Sponsor is Academy Sports & Outdoors of Bossier City

West Monroe
Academy Sports & Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
Sponsors include the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association (LWAA) and Academy Sports & Outdoors of West Monroe

Alexandria
Academy Sports & Outdoors
3205 South MacArthur Dr.
Sponsor is Academy Sports & Outdoors of Alexandria

Opelousas
St. Landry Lumber
207 North Railroad Ave.
Sponsors include Wal-Mart of Eunice, Raising Canes and LWAA

Deridder
Deridder First Baptist Church
2031 Hwy. 171
Sponsor is the Beauregard Parish Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited

Raceland
Lafourche Parish Sheriff Office Rifle Range
3451 Hwy. 182
Sponsors include the LWAA and Renovations Marine of Cut Off.

Amite
Tangipahoa Parish Library
204 NE Central Ave.
Sponsor is LWAA

Gonzales
Cabelas of Gonzales
2200 West Cabelas Parkway
Sponsors include Cabelas and Louisiana Waterway Safety

Madisonville
St. Tammany Parish Library Madisonville Branch
1123 Main Street
Sponsors include LWAA

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF to Hold Summer Day Camps in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 04/15/2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) are sponsoring two summer day camps at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge this summer.

The camps will be held from June 6-10 and again from July 18-22 and are completely free of charge.

The June 6-10 “Conservationist Camp” will be for 25 kids 11 to 13 years old and will take place from 8 a.m. to noon every day.  The Conservationist Camp will teach kids the basics of the outdoor with hands on activities and safety instructions.  The kids that make it thru this 1/2 day camp will then be guaranteed to be selected for the “Sportsmen Camp” next year.

The July 18-22 “Sportsmen Camp” is for the 25 kids that completed last year’s “Conservation Camp” and will also take place from 8 a.m. to noon every day.  The Sportsmen Camp is a more advanced camp and will build upon the outdoor skills learned at the Conservation Camp the year before.

Snacks and drinks will be provided at each camp.  Parents must be able to drop their child off between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. and pick up their child between noon and 12:30 p.m. every day.

At the Conservation Camp the children will receive their own rod and reel combo donated by Cabela’s of Gonzales.  The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation will provide support for the camps.  Two children could also win a lifetime hunting and fishing license at the June camp provided by the CCA of Louisiana.

To register for the Conservation Camp, parents must fill out the online application by May 6.  Parents must fill out a separate application for each child they wish to register.  The online registration form is located at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/summerdaycamp.

LDWF will inform the parents whether or not their child was selected by May 13 for the Conservation Camp.  Attendance every day of the week is mandatory for both camps.

During the camps LDWF will offer a fish identification class, fishing and canoeing in the ponds at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center, skeet shooting, and other outdoor related classes and activities.  The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission will also assist with the camps and provide workshops on non-consumptive educational programs.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465.

LEEC Special eNews Bulletin: 2016 Grant Finalists Announced

The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission is pleased to announce the 2016 LEEC Grants Program finalists. We are looking forward to seeing the positive effects these worthy projects have in their schools and communities.

Thanks to all of our applicants and congratulations, finalists!

2016 LEEC Grants Program FINALISTS

Last Name

First Name

School/ Organization

Project Title

Number Impacted

 Funding Potential

Educator Grants

Castilaw

Laurie

Wedgewood Elementary

Kidz to Whiz Going Green

236

 $             2,000.00

Dupuis

John

St. Thomas More Catholic High School

Aquaponics in the Classroom

180

 $             2,000.00

Everage

Amy

Stockwell Elementary School

Answering the Call of the Wild

136

 $             1,320.00

Lemoine

Joanna

St. Aloysius School

Desktop Ponds

120

 $                989.00

Lemoine

Kelly

Southdowns Pre-K Center

Environmental Exploration of Life Sciences in the Pre-K Classroom

25

 $             1,996.00

Seely

Lindsay

Dutchtown High School

LSU Coastal Roots Project

250

 $             1,950.00

Sevin

Dawn

Oaklawn Junior High School

Eyes Wide Open - Looking to the Future

100

 $                756.00

Umstead

Helen

Scott Middle School

Service Education and Exploration Exchange

40

 $             1,995.00

Green School Grants

Downing

Sam

Belle Chasse Academy

Reduce, Recycle, Re-use Initiative

1000

 $             4,997.00

Williams

Jean-Marie

Oaks Montessori School

Promoting Water Conservation through Effective Environmental Education

500

 $             3,574.00

Oliveri

Kristin

Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy

Project Green HEART

700

 $             3,482.00

Professional Development Grants

Kleiner

Heather

Sci-Port Discovery Center

Watershed to the Red Environmental Education Project

12

 $             2,500.00

Krouse

Stephanie

Academic Distinction Fund

On the Right Track - Environmental Education in Pre-K

20

 $             2,500.00

Robichaux

Alma

Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary Foundation

T3 (Tools to Teach) Upland Wetlands Topics

20

 $             2,500.00

University Research Grants

Allen

Warwick

Louisiana State University

Characterizing the fungi community of Pragmites australis: geographic and genotypic variation

1

 $             1,200.00

DelDuco

Emily

Louisiana State University Agricultural Center

Carbon transport and transportation in the Mississippi-Atchafalaya Rivers

1

 $             1,200.00

Flick

Andrew

Louisiana State University

The effects of predation on disease transmission in the soybean looper (Pseudoplusia includens)

1

 $             1,200.00

Harman

Rachel

Louisiana State University

Life History traits of native insects Ischnodemus falicus and Prokelisia marginata

1

 $             1,200.00

Hovanes

Katherine

Louisiana State University and A&M College

Development of spatial patterns in dominant bunchgrasses (Aristida stricta) at a pine savanna restoration site

1

 $             1,200.00

Wang

Bo

Louisiana State University and A&M College

Assessing sediment availability in the lowermost Mississippi River for Louisiana coastal restoration

1

 $             1,200.00

 

 

 

 

3345

 $       39,759.00

 

LEEC eNews Bulletin: Second Louisiana Whooping Crane Egg Hatches


Image of 2013 crane nest taken by Michael Seymour

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist Sara Zimorski confirmed that a live chick hatched on April 13, 2016 from the second egg produced by whooping crane mating pair L6-12 & L8-13. This comes just two days after the proud parents welcomed their first hatchling. While the second hatch is certainly a hopeful sign, research suggests that its rare for two to survive. 

 

Louisiana currently has 42 fully-fledged whooping cranes, thanks to a reintroduction program begun in 2011. At last count there were only about 450 whooping cranes in the wild, and only about 600 total, leading the National Audubon Society to call it one of America's most endangered birds.

 

For more information on Louisiana whooping cranes, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wildlife/whooping-cranes.

Louisiana Welcomes Whooping Crane Hatchling

 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) scored a huge victory in its effort to reintroduce endangered whooping cranes to their historic range in south Louisiana when the first chick in 75 years hatched in Jefferson Davis Parish on April 11.
 
LDWF Secretary Charlie Melancon congratulated his staff on achieving this milestone after more than five years of hard work, saying, “The ultimate goal is to establish a self-sustaining whooping crane population in Louisiana so that this beautiful bird can thrive for generations to come. The first chick hatched here is a step in that direction.’’
 
The last documented hatch in Louisiana occurred in 1939 and the last living Louisiana native whooping crane, a lone adult male called “Mac,” was transported to a Texas refuge in the spring of 1950. 
 
With the exception of the new hatchling, all whooping cranes in Louisiana today are individuals released into the wild by LDWF staff at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area in Vermilion Parish. The reintroduction project, begun in 2011, is a partnership among LDWF, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. 
 
LDWF staff receive, rear and release yearly cohorts of 10 to 15 juvenile birds hatched at a USGS facility in Maryland, then monitor their progress as they move on occupy Louisiana’s wetlands. To date, the reintroduced population numbers 43 whooping cranes. 
 
“This is something we’ve been looking forward to and anticipating since the reintroduction began in 2011,’’ said LDWF biologist Sara Zimorski, who leads the Louisiana whooping crane project. “One of the major steps in restoring the species is successful reproduction. We’ve had several pairs nesting the last couple of years but until now no favorable outcomes. It’s an exciting time for us and all of our partners who have worked so hard alongside us.”
 
Whooping cranes were historically present in Louisiana wetlands in great abundance as late as the 1890s, but over-hunting and repurposing of native habitat led to a precipitous decline in population. By the middle of the 20th century they had disappeared completely from our landscape. 
 
Humans remain the greatest threat to whooping cranes today. As recently as January of this year, two birds released in Louisiana were shot in east Texas. A number of others have been proven or suspected to be shot since the reintroduction project began. Relatively few individuals have succumbed to natural causes, including predation and disease.
 
Anyone who encounters a whooping crane in the wild is advised to observe the bird from a distance and encouraged to report the sighting to LDWF (http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/whooping-crane-reporting-form).
 

LEEC eNews Bulletin: Louisiana Welcomes Whooping Crane Hatchling

 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) scored a huge victory in its effort to reintroduce endangered whooping cranes to their historic range in south Louisiana when the first chick in 75 years hatched in Jefferson Davis Parish on April 11.
 
LDWF Secretary Charlie Melancon congratulated his staff on achieving this milestone after more than five years of hard work, saying, “The ultimate goal is to establish a self-sustaining whooping crane population in Louisiana so that this beautiful bird can thrive for generations to come. The first chick hatched here is a step in that direction.’’
 
The last documented hatch in Louisiana occurred in 1939 and the last living Louisiana native whooping crane, a lone adult male called “Mac,” was transported to a Texas refuge in the spring of 1950. 
 
With the exception of the new hatchling, all whooping cranes in Louisiana today are individuals released into the wild by LDWF staff at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area in Vermilion Parish. The reintroduction project, begun in 2011, is a partnership among LDWF, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. 
 
LDWF staff receive, rear and release yearly cohorts of 10 to 15 juvenile birds hatched at a USGS facility in Maryland, then monitor their progress as they move on occupy Louisiana’s wetlands. To date, the reintroduced population numbers 43 whooping cranes. 
 
“This is something we’ve been looking forward to and anticipating since the reintroduction began in 2011,’’ said LDWF biologist Sara Zimorski, who leads the Louisiana whooping crane project. “One of the major steps in restoring the species is successful reproduction. We’ve had several pairs nesting the last couple of years but until now no favorable outcomes. It’s an exciting time for us and all of our partners who have worked so hard alongside us.”
 
Whooping cranes were historically present in Louisiana wetlands in great abundance as late as the 1890s, but over-hunting and repurposing of native habitat led to a precipitous decline in population. By the middle of the 20th century they had disappeared completely from our landscape. 
 
Humans remain the greatest threat to whooping cranes today. As recently as January of this year, two birds released in Louisiana were shot in east Texas. A number of others have been proven or suspected to be shot since the reintroduction project began. Relatively few individuals have succumbed to natural causes, including predation and disease.
 
Anyone who encounters a whooping crane in the wild is advised to observe the bird from a distance and encouraged to report the sighting to LDWF (http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/whooping-crane-reporting-form).
 

Hessmer Man Sentenced for Downed Trees on Spring Bayou WMA

Release Date: 04/12/2016

A Hessmer man was sentenced on April 11 in 12th Judicial District Court in Avoyelles Parish for his part in the cutting down of trees on the Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

Judge William Bennett sentenced Keith Savoy, 49, to serve two years in jail suspended, to pay $15,000 in civil restitution to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), $2,500 fine, $750 for the cost of prosecution and $400 in court costs.  Savoy was also given five years of probation during which time he will not be allowed on any Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and not allowed to possess recreational hunting or fishing licenses.

Savoy also leased land where he had a hunting camp on the Avoyelles Parish School Board Property, which is adjacent to Spring Bayou WMA.  Savoy has until July 1, 2016 to remove any property and then will not be allowed on school board property during the time of his probation.

Savoy was found guilty on March 2 for simple criminal damage to property with the value of damage being between $500 and $50,000.  Savoy cut over 100 trees in the northeast corner of Spring Bayou WMA to block navigable access to an area known as the “fields” where he regularly hunted.

Avoyelles District Attorney Charles Riddle and Assistant District Attorney Tony Salario prosecuted the case.

LDWF enforcement agents arrested Savoy on March 6, 2014 at his residence for criminal damage to state property after a four month investigation.

The trees Savoy cut down ranged from 10 inches to 30 inches in diameter and up to 50 foot tall including cypress, oak and willow trees.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. John Volentine, Sgts. Gabe Guidry, Chad Watts and Bear Fletcher, and Senior Agents Doug Anderson Jr., Jay Callegari, Heath Wood, Kurt Hatten, Dale Wheat, Kenny Robertson and John Hattaway.  Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy Matthew Smith and Detective Jeremiah Honea also assisted in the case.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Boating Incident In Gulf Leads to Fatality

Release Date: 04/06/2016

A single boat incident in the Gulf of Mexico south of Cameron Parish led to the death of a 19 year old man this morning, April 6.

Search and rescue crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Vermillion Parish Sheriff’s Office, Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard were notified of two missing boaters last night, April 5.  Search crews searched throughout the night and into the morning.

The search crews found Shane Marin, 19, of St. Martin Parish, and Derek Romero, 19, of Iberia Parish, around 9:30 a.m. in the water near their partially sunken 18 foot aluminum boat about 10 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico.

On the way back to shore where Acadian Ambulance was standing by, LDWF agents performed CPR on Romero as he didn’t have a pulse.  Agents arrived with the men to the shore at Joseph’s Harbor at the Rockefeller Refuge around 9:50 a.m. and continued to assist Acadian Ambulance and other search and rescue crews with CPR until the Air Medivac arrived on scene around 10:45 a.m.

Romero was air lifted to South Cameron Hospital where he was later pronounced dead around noon.  Marin was taken to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital and is in stable condition.

Both men were found wearing a personal flotation device.  LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  The cause of death and why the boat sunk is not yet known.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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