General

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LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Lake Bruin in Tensas Parish

Release Date: 06/21/2011

 

 

June 21, 2011 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in conjunction with the Lake Bruin Recreation and Water Conservation District, will drawdown Lake Bruin in Tensas Parish beginning September 6, 2011.

The water level will be lowered 4 1/2 feet below pool stage and will remain lowered until December 15, 2011.  The drawdown is being conducted to allow for replacement of a disabled water control structure, vegetation control in the Brushy Lake area, fisheries improvement and also to allow homeowners to conduct shoreline and property maintenance. 

All homeowners are advised to take appropriate prepartory measures as boat access into the lake will be limited. 

For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Ryan Daniel, LDWF Biologist Manager, at (318) 343-4044 or Gary Smith, President of the Lake Bruin Recreation and Water Conservation District, at (318) 766-4252.

The Louisiana 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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113. 

Crab Task Force Scheduled to Meet June 23, 2011

Release Date: 06/21/2011

 

The Louisiana Crab Task Force will meet Thursday, June 23 at 4:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. The agenda for Thursday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:

  1. Call to order Roll call
  2. Approval of minutes/agenda
  3. Receive public comments
  4. Senior Commercial Fisherman’s License
  5. Whitespot disease (general information and discussion) 
  6. Reports of blue crab mortalities and laboratory findings
  7. Trade Adjustment Assistance Program for crab fishermen
  8. Impacts of freshwater flooding on the blue crab resource
  9. Exports of live blue crabs (opportunities and regulations)
  10. Status of Derelict Crab Trap Removal and Crab Promotion and Marketing Accounts
  11. Blue crab processing and solid waste disposal
  12. Update on MSC Certification of the blue crab fishery
  13. Indirect effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on the blue crab industry
  14. Task force vacancies and recruitment efforts
  15. Travel reimbursement for task force members
  16. H-2B visas and labor issues
  17. Status of HB 584
  18. Crab education day planning
  19. Other Business
  20. Next Meeting / Agenda
  21. Adjournment

For more meeting information, contact Carl Britt at (985)882-0027 or cbritt@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries contact Laura Wooderson at (225)610-2363 or lwooderson@wlf.la.gov.

Local Anglers Take Home Top Prize at Louisiana Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament

Release Date: 06/21/2011

(Left to right) Tournament Director Dwayne Mills, Kory Matherne, Jason LeBlanc, Becky Chaney.

 

June 21, 2011 –Last Saturday, the second annual Louisiana Saltwater Series made its third stop on the tournament trail at Sweetwater Marina in Delacroix, La., with 44 boats entered and over $7,000 awarded in cash prizes.

The series was developed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (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.  

Taking home first place overall were Jason LeBlanc and Kory Matherne, of Marrero, with a two fish total weight of 16.57 pounds.

A total of 109 redfish were tagged and released during Saturday’s event.  The results of the tagging will aid conservation efforts for redfish in the future, helping to ensure healthy populations and a successful recreational fishing industry.

Visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com for more information, including event photographs and a complete listing of results. 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.

Mark your calendars for our next tournament on July 23 at The Dock and Dockside Bait and Tackle in Slidell.  The Disney Radio Road Crew will be on-site to entertain kids of all ages with interactive, hands-on, music and contest-filled events, so be sure to bring the entire family. 

The Louisiana 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 Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

Events, Workshops, & Resources

EVENTS

Learn more about the U.S. Army STEM Competition! 
Join us and your colleagues for an informative webinar on eCYBERMISSION, a free, web-based, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition for sixth through ninth grade students. Sponsored by the U.S. Army, eCYBERMISSION is designed to share the importance of STEM education with the leaders of tomorrow and encourage them to understand the real-life applications of these subjects. Students compete for State, Regional and National Awards by working in teams to identify a problem in their community and use scientific inquiry to propose a solution.
During this webinar you will:
          • Learn how eCYBERMISSION can be implemented into your schools
          • Discover the benefits of participating in eCYBERMISSION
          • Interact with eCYBERMISSION staff and colleagues in STEM roles within the Department of Education
To register for the webinar, please select the date and time that accommodates your schedule and click on the link below:
Thursday, June 30, 11:00 a.m.
Thursday, June 30, 3:00 p.m.
Once registered you will receive an email confirming your registration with information you need to join the webinar. If you have any questions, please contact eCYBERMISSION Mission Control at 1-866-GO-CYBER (462-9237) or missioncontrol@ecybermission.com.

2011 Leopold Education Project National Conference Travels West – July 28-30, 2011
See details in attached LEP Newsletter - Strides Summer Special

Free Training Opportunity
The National Health Environmental Association is offering CEUs, CNEs and CECH for individuals who completed the revised version of the CDC’s EPHT course which is offered on their website. This is a 12 module webinar where participants have the opportunity to complete at their own pace. Please visit http://www.neha.org/research/pub_health_tracking.html  to obtain additional information regarding this opportunity. Please share this information with anyone who is interested in environmental health and may need some CEUs.

WORKSHOPS

Mississippi Marine Debris Removal and Prevention Project
Middle School and High School teachers and students are invited to participate in this workshop to increase the awareness of marine debris impact on coastal ecosystems while fostering improved stewardship of coastal habitats.
          STEP 1 – Two-day teacher workshop July 7-8, 2011.
          STEP 2 – Students and teachers take a guided field trip to Deer Island to remove and learn about marine debris. The participants will learn about the effect it has on the environment and the organisms that inhabit these areas. Field trips are scheduled during the fall of 2011 and spring of the 2012 academic year.
          Where: Gulf Coast Research Laboratory - Marine Education Center. The clean-up sites are located on Deer Island. Transportation to Deer Island will be aboard the R/V Sea Explorer. All equipment, supplies and lunch will be provided.
Marine debris is harmful to our environment and its inhabitants, our economy and is preventable…it’s time to make a difference so get involved TODAY! Students will remove, weigh, record and recycle marine debris from Deer Island.
For more information: Becca Mathias, 228-818-8889, Rebecca.mathias@usm.edu; 703 East Beach Drive, Ocean Springs, MS, www.usm.edu/gcrl


RESOURCES

Next Generation of Science Standards
The NRC is putting the final touches on the new science standards framework and it would appear that they will release it in late June or early July. We do not have a set date as yet, but it would appear we are close. The Next Generation Science Standards will begin development as soon as the Framework is released.

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 www.BoatUS.org or www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

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 BoatUS.org and an online course for a small fee from boat-ed.com.

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 www.BoatUS.com/foundation.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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 http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/white-lake-leases 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 bbaker@wlf.la.gov. For all media inquiries or interview requests, please contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

Events, Grants, Programs, and Resources

EVENTS

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: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=lpkzsjfab&oeidk=a07e439vw6d39237ad9
The strategic action plan outlines can be downloaded at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/oceans.sap
For the agenda and more information on the Regional Listening Session, or to provide your comments online, please visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/05/26/share-your-ideas-national-ocean-council-listening-session-near-you

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:
http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/523231/Climate-Stewardship-Survey
We encourage you to publish this Web address in your newsletters, bulletins, etc. The survey will close at 11:59 pm, Sunday, July 10.


GRANTS

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 www.grants.gov 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 Quay.Dortch@noaa.gov. Additional program information can be viewed online at: http://www.cop.noaa.gov/stressors/extremeevents/hab/default.aspx

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


PROGRAMS

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 jody.thompson@auburn.edu by Wednesday, July 13, 2011. For more information about the Index, visit www.masgc.org/ri
          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.


RESOURCES

CWPPRA Releases New Video
We invite you to take a look at our newest video: http://youtu.be/vLB8KX3QKLo
          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 (http://gulfofmexicoalliance.org/pdfs/Primer_on_Hypoxia_in_the_Gulf_of_Mexico.pdf). 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 http://www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org/.

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