General

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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 aeinck@wlf.la.gov 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 bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

LOUISIANA ARTIFICIAL REEF COUNCIL TO MEET

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 www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.govor (225) 610-2363.

City of New Orleans’s to Host Household Hazardous Waste Day - June 11, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA - This past Monday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that the City will sponsor a Household Hazardous Waste Day on Saturday, June 11, 2011, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 2829 Elysian Fields Avenue.

On Household Hazardous Waste Day, the Department of Sanitation will collect a number of every day household items which are no longer in use by residents and should not be thrown away with regular garbage or in curbside recycling containers. Some of the items accepted include batteries, televisions, paint, light bulbs, oil, mercury devices, aerosols, pesticides and household cleaners.

"This is a safe way of disposing with materials that could be hazardous to residents, and we encourage people to start saving these items now and drop them off to us on June 11," said Mayor Landrieu.

Additionally, the City's free curbside recycling services began on May 2, 2011. Residents who are not yet participating in the recycling program but who would like to register may sign up at http://recycle.nola.gov. Carts will be provided by the City only on request. Residents may also fill out the Recycling Service Notice manually and mail it or drop it off to City Hall, 1300 Perdido Street, Room 1W03, New Orleans, LA 70112 or fax it to (504) 658-3801.

Residents may also use their blue or black recycling bins that were used before Hurricane Katrina. The plastic bins must be marked for recyclables and residents must register for services.

Collection maps and schedules for Richards and Metro Disposal service areas may also be found on the City's website.

As a result of adding regular curbside recycling services for most of New Orleans, the City will reduce its ongoing recycling and e-waste drop-off to once a month, the second Saturday of each month, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 2829 Elysian Fields Avenue. Residents are encouraged to drop off their unused or unwanted electronic items (computers, monitors, keyboards, speakers, cell phones, digital cameras, etc.) or recycling items on these days.

For more information on Household Hazardous Waste Day, please email Sanitation@nola.gov or call the Department of Sanitation at (504) 658-3800.
Curbside Recycling Registration Form
Department Of Sanitation

To register for recycling services, visit http://recycle.nola.gov or call the Department of Sanitation.

Volunteer Opportunities, Grants, Programs & Resources

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Grand Isle State Park – Saturday June 25, 2011, 10 am- 3 pm
          The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the National Wildlife Federation invite you to participate in a marsh restoration project on the shoreline of Grand Isle State Park. This area provides essential protection for our inland communities and wetlands and was severely impacted by recent hurricanes and the 2010 oil spill. One thousand mangrove trees will be planted which will assist in stabilizing and capturing sand in the hopes of building dunes. In addition, the project will also create wildlife habitat, increase species diversity and provide a seed source for natural regeneration.
          All planting equipment (gloves, shovels, dibbles, etc.), sunscreen and bug spray will be provided. Drinks and lunch will be provided to all volunteers. Minors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Old tennis shoes or knee boots are recommended. Volunteers will be planting along the beach and into the marsh behind the island. Please be prepared to get wet and muddy. Comfortable clothes that can get dirty will be needed (a change of clothes and towel for the end of the day is also recommended).
          This restoration event is supported by National Wildlife Federation, Nicholls State University, and Grand Isle State Park. Register online at www.crcl.org or call the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana at (888)-LACOAST for more information. For information: Coalition@crcl.org

Provide input to U.S. National Ocean Policy (Deadline: July 2)
          The National Ocean Council announced that the public will have 30 days to comment on the strategic action plan outlines http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/oceans/sap/ for each of the nine objectives in the National Ocean Policy. Writing teams composed of representatives from the National Ocean Council agencies developed these outlines to provide an initial view as to how federal agencies might address the priority objectives. They are preliminary documents that serve as an early and valuable point in the plan development process for focusing public and stakeholder input. We encourage you to submit comments http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/oceans/sap/comments and ideas by the deadline--July 2, 2011.

 

GRANTS

YSI Foundation "Minding the Planet" Grant Request for Proposals (Deadline: July 1)
          YSI Foundation is pleased to seek proposals for research projects that focus on data collection to assess changes in the environment. Research on quantifying change from artificial disasters (i.e. pollution), natural disasters (i.e. oil spills, flooding), or climate change (i.e. water acidification), and the use of environmental data to demonstrate the changes is preferred.
          This year the YSI Foundation will award two grants $25,000 to the first recipient selected by an Outside Selection Committee and $15,000 to the second recipient. Applications are due by Friday, July 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time. Only electronic applications will be accepted. All applications must be emailed to foundation@ysi.com by no later than this time. Previous individual recipients are not eligible.
Requirements Details and Documents
http://www.erf.org/system/files/YSI_CERF2011_Minding_the_Planet%20RFP.pdf
http://www.erf.org/system/files/YSI_%20CERF2011_MTP_Cover_Page.doc
Contact for information and application submittal: Susan Miller, Foundation President – 937-657-1710 (cell) or smiller@ysi.com

 

PROGRAMS

NOAA NMFS MARFIN Southeast Region FFO Announcement (Deadline: July 18)
          The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Southeast Region, is seeking proposals under the Marine Fisheries Initiative Program (MARFIN), for research and development projects that optimize the use of fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico and off the South Atlantic states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida involving the U.S. fishing industry (recreational and commercial), including fishery biology, resource assessment, socioeconomic assessment, management and conservation, selected harvesting methods, and fish handling and processing. This program addresses NOAA's mission goal to "Protect, Restore, and Manage the Use of Coastal and Ocean Resources Through an Ecosystem Approach to Management." See attachment for more information.

 

RESOURCES

How Are Louisiana Wetlands Changed Over Time?
New Map Shows Losses and Gains Since 1932

          Coastal Louisiana has lost a wetland area the size of Delaware, equaling 1,883 square miles, over the past 78 years, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey National Wetlands Research Center study. Twenty-five percent of the wetland area present in 1932 was lost by 2010. The impacts on human populations, the oil and gas infrastructure, fisheries and wildlife will be considerable if coastal wetlands continue to disappear.
          The USGS National Wetlands Research Center has developed a new map that illustrates wetland losses and gains on the Louisiana coastline from 1932-2010. This product provides opportunities to better understand the timing and causes of wetland loss, which are critical for forecasting landscape changes in the future. This color-coded map can be found online. USGS provides science for a changing world. Visit USGS.gov, and follow us on Twitter @USGS and our other social media channels. Subscribe to our news releases via e-mail, RSS or Twitter. Links and contacts within this release are valid at the time of publication.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Information Exchange for Marine Educators – June 2011
          The attached document contains information that has been compiled from many different sources, including EE-NEWS@NAAEE, scuttlebutt, EEinGEORGIA, the Scout Report, and others. Contact the editor directly at phyllis.dermer@noaa.gov, or by phone at (865) 932-5074, to discuss further enhancements or to contribute information for future issues. For a PDFcopy of the current newsletter and archives of information from past issues of the Information Exchange for Marine Educators, go to http://mpa.gov/resources/education/#exchange. See attachment for more information.

Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) - New Products
          In 2003 the CWPPRA Task Force granted approval to the Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration (OCPR) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for the implementation of the Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) in coastal Louisiana. CRMS was designed to assess the effectiveness of individual coastal restoration projects and the cumulative effects of multiple projects at regional and coastwide scales. Wetland monitoring data such as, hourly water level and salinity, plant species composition and cover, and soil elevation and accretion, are collected from 390 monitoring sites which are located in all marsh types and hydrologic basins.
          The CRMS Vegetation Analytical Team has developed a Floristic Quality Index for coastal Louisiana to determine the quality of a wetland based on its plant species composition and abundance. Two USGS series reports were recently released that describe the development of the FQI and how this index, along with other indices, can be used to assess wetland condition and evaluate restoration project effectiveness. A USGS factsheet and a USGS open-file report are available for download from the USGS Publications Warehouse (http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2011/3044/pdf/FS11-3044.pdf; http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2011/1097/pdf/OF11-1097.pdf)

 

Construction Completed on Louisiana’s Largest Limestone Inshore Artificial Reef

Release Date: 06/07/2011

Construction Completed on Louisiana’s Largest Limestone Inshore Artificial Reef
Construction Completed on Louisiana’s Largest Limestone Inshore Artificial Reef

 

CCA, LDWF and partners complete historic project at Independence Island Reef

JUNE 7, 2011- The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) have completed construction on Independence Island Reef, believed to be the largest limestone inshore artificial reef project ever in Louisiana. Work crews finished the job on Monday afternoon.

“This project is the result of nearly two years of hard work and dedication by CCA volunteers, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and NOAA,” said David Cresson, CCA Louisiana Executive Director. “We are so appreciative of all of them for their incredible commitment to this important project. Anglers and their families will enjoy the benefits of this reef for generations.”

“The recreational fishing industry has sustained a number of challenges over the last six years – hurricanes, the BP oil spill and recent flood waters from the Mississippi River have and will continue to impact our inshore reefs along Louisiana’s coast,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. “Projects like this one are an essential component in restoring our recreational fisheries. We are incredibly grateful for Governor Jindal, Secretary Barham, CCA and of all our partners for their leadership in what is an essential effort to rebuild areas along our coast that have been damaged by erosion.”

Nearly 8,000 tons of limestone were dropped from barges onto four acres about three miles Northeast of Grand Isle, where Independence Island was once located. The total site acreage is more than 50 acres. The center of the reef is located at 29° 18' 26.98" N, -89° 56' 01.01"W and will be marked by several mooring buoys.  The buoys will be deployed later this month.

Cresson also thanked a number of additional partners who helped make the project possible, namely Shell Oil Company, The Paul Candies Family, Vulcan Materials and Bertucci Contractors.

“Without their generosity and their commitment to conservation, this project would not have been possible,” Cresson said.

Shell Oil Company made a lead gift to CCA Building Conservation Program and helped announce the project last December.

“Shell is proud to have been part of this project through CCA’s Building Conservation Program,” said John Hollowell, Executive Vice President, Deep Water for Shell Upstream Americas.  “Shell remains committed the Gulf Coast and the people who live there, so the Independence Island Reef project was a great way for us to give back.”

Funding for the project was also made available through LDWF’s Artificial Reef Development Fund.

CCA Conservation Committee Chairman John Walther says he expects the reef to start holding fish in the coming months.

“Reefs we have built in the past have proven to provide great habitat for our favorite species, like speckled trout and redfish,” said Walther. “I expect anglers will be landing nice catches from the new reef before the end of the summer.”

CCA Louisiana is the largest marine resource conservation group of its kind in the state. With more than 30,000 members and volunteers in 24 local chapters, CCA has been active in state, national and international fisheries management issues since 1977. Visit CCA at www.CCALouisiana.com for more information, on Facebook or Twitter @CCALouisiana.

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

 

For more information contact Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov.

June 11-12 Free Fishing Weekend Provides Opportunity to Enjoy Louisiana's Outdoors

Release Date: 06/06/2011

June 6, 2011 – Louisiana’s “Free Fishing Weekend” provides a great opportunity for Louisiana citizens and visitors to enjoy the state’s bountiful fisheries resources on June 11 and 12.

The event is part of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) efforts to attract more participants into the ranks of licensed fishermen.  Fishing license fees support LDWF's conservation efforts including habitat management.

The promotional fishing dates offer novices, and anglers who haven’t been on the water recently, an opportunity to experience recreational fishing in fresh or salt water without the purchase of a recreational fishing license. 

"The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission waives the fishing license requirement once a year to encourage the public to participate and we hope  licensed recreational fishermen use this weekend to introduce someone to this outdoor activity that can last a lifetime," said John Sturgis, LDWF education manager.

In conjunction with Free Fishing Weekend, LDWF and the Office of State Parks will host Family Fishing Day on Saturday, June 11 at the following sites: Bogue Chitto State Park, Franklinton; Chicot State Park, Ville Platte; Lake D’Arbonne State Park, Farmerville; and within New Orleans City Park. Family Fishing Day at these park sites will be offered from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear for pier or bank fishing. LDWF will provide basic fishing gear for anyone needing gear for the day.

Entrance fees at the three state parks hosting Family Fishing Day will be waived on June 11. For information and directions to all Louisiana State Parks and New Orleans City Park, visit www.lastateparks.com.

 

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

For more information, contact John Sturgis at 225-763-5448 or jsturgis@wlf.la.gov.

 

DEQ to Conduct Free MS4 and TMDL Workshops Around the State

DEQ is sponsoring free workshops to inform and assist municipalities and parish governments with the requirements of Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems and the upcoming Total Maximum Daily Load changes and how they apply. Pre-registration is suggested due to limited space and participants should register at least a week before each session.

The workshop locations are as follows:

• LAKE CHARLES: THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
LSU Ag Center, 7101 Gulf Highway Lake Charles

• LAFAYETTE: THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
LUS (Lafayette Utilities System) Training Center, Main Building, 1314 Walker Rd., Lafayette

• COVINGTON: THURSDAY, JULY 7, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.1
Saint Tammany Parish Public Works Building, 620 N. Tyler Street, Covington

• HOUMA: THURSDAY, JULY 28, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Terrebonne Parish Library, 151 Library Dr. Houma

• BATON ROUGE: THURSDAY, AUG. 11, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
LDEQ Headquarters, Pensacola Room, 602 North 5th Street Baton Rouge

• WEST MONROE: WEDNESDAY, Aug. 24, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
West Monroe Convention Center Conference Hall, 901 Ridge Ave., West Monroe

• SHREVEPORT: THURSDAY, AUG. 25, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Louisiana State Office Building, 1525 Fairfield, Room 205, Shreveport

If you would like to attend, you can register online at www.deq.louisiana.gov/enviroschool or faxing a registration form to (225)325-8222. For more information, please contact Jeff Jackson at (337)262-5582/ jeff.jackson@la.gov or Tomeka Prioleau at (225) 219-0877/ tomeka.prioleau@la.gov, or visit the ENVIROSCHOOL Web site at www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/tabid/2601/Default.aspx.

LDWF, LSU Begin Initial Phase of Oyster Reef Rehabilitation

Release Date: 06/02/2011

 

June 2, 2011 - Today, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists along with Louisiana Sea Grant scientists, deployed more than 100 million oyster larvae and 500,000 oyster spat (or immature oysters approximately one-quarter inch in size.)  This joint effort between LDWF and Louisiana State University (LSU), is part of a $500,000 grant provided to LSU to help rehabilitate vital oyster grounds impacted by hurricanes in the last six years. 

The oyster larvae and spat were released in the Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation, located in north Barataria Bay.  The specimens were deployed on test plots of reef to enable biologists to track progress.

This effort is the first of many ventures to help rehabilitate Louisiana’s oyster grounds.  The state plans to institute similar deployments of larvae and spat on other public grounds and private leases. 

Figures prior to the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010 indicate that Louisiana produces approximately one-third of all oysters harvested in the U.S. and 50 percent of oysters harvested in the Gulf of Mexico.  

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

For more information contact Laura Wooderson with LDWF at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or 225.610.2363.

 

Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant (www.laseagrant.org) has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant Program.

For more information about Louisiana Sea Grant contact Roy Kron at (225)578-6451 or rkron@lsu.edu

L.W.F.C. BRIEFED ON PROPOSED CHANGES FOR 2012 WILD TURKEY SEASON

Release Date: 06/02/2011

 

June 2, 2011 --The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) today summarized the changes in the turkey hunting regulations that it expects to make when the formal season proposal is made at the July meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.  The department expects to propose two turkey hunting zones with different opening dates.
 
It is expected that the season would open in the south on the Saturday closest to March 22, and in the north on the Saturday closest to March 29. Youth turkey hunt weekends would be set a week prior to the season openings.
 
The length of the turkey season would vary and be based on the area A, B and C breakdowns similar to that used in 2011. The zone boundaries will be announced at the July commission meeting when the formal turkey season notice of intent is presented. A 60-day comment period will begin then to gather public input on the proposed season framework and WMA regulations.
 
Turkey Program Study Leader Jimmy Stafford told commission meeting attendees that the 2011 floodwaters may impact seasons along the Mississippi River, but that impact is still to be determined.

 

For more information, contact Jimmy Stafford at 225-765-2361 or jstafford@wlf.la.gov.

 

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

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