General

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Three Cameron Parish Men Sentenced in Federal Court for Illegal Shrimping

Release Date: 12/12/2012

Three Cameron Parish men were sentenced in Federal Court on Dec. 4 for their roles in illegal shrimping on the Cameron Parish National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).

Judge Kathleen Kay for the Western District of Louisiana in Lake Charles sentenced Anthony G. Theriot, 37, Philip Lejeune, 50, and Jerimie M. Pugh, 37, all from Cameron, to $6,730 in fines and restitution and 30 days in jail for each defendant.

On Sept. 6, 2012, Theriot, Lejeune and Pugh pleaded guilty for commercial operation on an NWR, fishing on an NWR after sunset and taking over the limit of shrimp.  Judge Kay ordered a presentence investigation on the three defendants at this time.

On May 29, 2012, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents observed the three subjects place a shrimp trawl over the boat bay opening at the Grand Bayou water control structure on the Cameron Prairie NWR.  With the aid of a night vision, agents were able to observe and record the subjects tend and remove shrimp from the trawl.

The three subjects were subsequently apprehended and booked into the Cameron Parish Jail.  Agents seized the subject’s vessel, a 36 foot shrimp trawl and 631 pounds of shrimp.

Each defendant was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine plus a $70 special assessment for commercial operation on an NWR and for fishing on an NWR after sunset.  The men were also assessed $13,980 in restitution for the shrimp, which makes each defendant responsible for $4,660.

Each defendant was also placed on probation for five years in which they will not be allowed on any NWR.  Each defendant was ordered to serve 60 days in jail in which 30 days was suspended.  The defendants were taken into custody in the courtroom to begin serving their jail sentences.

Agents participating in the case were Sgts. David Sanford and Stuart Guillory, Senior Agent Carl Pickett, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Officer Dave Panas.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Myers P. Namie.

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

WEEKLY eNEWS: Events, Awards, Webinar, Contest, Volunteer Opportunity, Resources, Lagniappe

A Compilation of Environmental Education News from Across Louisiana

EVENTS

Capital Area Native Plant Society Meeting
Join the second CANPS foundational meeting on Sunday, December 9th, 2:00 pm, at the Goodwood Library (7711 Goodwood Blvd, Baton Rouge) as they discuss future goals, exchange seeds, and work to become an official Louisiana Native Plant Society chapter. Bring a friend, neighbor, anyone who's interested in learning about nature. As a special bonus Charles Allen, author of several books on Louisiana plants, will present a talk on wildflowers of Louisiana! For more information: https://www.facebook.com/CapitalAreaNativePlantSociety

NOAA's Climate Stewards Education Project – Class of 2013 (Deadline: December 17)
NOAA's Climate Stewards Education Project (CSEP) provides formal and informal educators with sustained professional development, collaborative tools, and support to build a climate-literate public that is actively engaged in climate stewardship. Applications are being accepted until December 17 for the class of 2013. Educators accepted into the program will be notified early January, 2013 and will be required to attend a mandatory introductory Web seminar for new participants - tentatively scheduled for January 14th OR January 28th, 2013 at 7:30 PM Eastern Time. Click herefor more information and to apply.

BioBlitz 2013: Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Mark your calendars for May 17 and 18 for the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve BioBlitz in New Orleans, Louisiana. The two-day celebration of biodiversity centers on a 24-hour discovery of species. Teams of scientists, students, and the general public will explore the park's Barataria Preserve swamps, marshes, and forests to find as many species as possible. The event is free and open to the public, so come discover, count, map, and learn about all the living creatures that call Jean Lafitte and the Barataria Preserve home. Public registration will open in the spring. Send an email to bioblitz@ngs.orgfor general information or to be included on an email mailing list for updates and registration details. Learn more about Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preservenow.

 

AWARDS

Nominations Sought For Top State Conservation Awards (Deadline: January 21)
The Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) is accepting nominations for the 49th Governor's State Conservation Achievement Awards. The program recognizes those persons and organizations making outstanding contributions to the natural resource welfare and environmental quality of the community, parish and state. There are eight award categories for which nominations can be made. They are: professional; volunteer; business; educator; youth; elected official; communications and organization. Nominations will be accepted until January 21, 2013. The awards will be presented on February 23, 2013 at a special banquet held in conjunction with the 74th annual convention of the Louisiana Wildlife Federation at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. More details about the program are posted on the LWF website at www.lawildlifefed.org. Interested people can also call the LWF office, 225-344-6707, or email lwf@lawildilfed.orgfor more information.

 

WEBINAR

NGCP Webinar: Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Role Models to Inspire Girls in STEM
January 23, 2012; 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific
In honor of National Mentoring Month in January, presenters from Techbridge and FabFems will discuss how to effectively provide role models and mentors for girls, including strategies for recruiting, retaining and recognizing professional volunteers. Participants will experience interactive activities, resources, and role model stories that will help craft engaging experiences that dispel stereotypes and ignite girls' interest in STEM careers. Register: http://www.ngcproject.org/recruiting-training-and-retaining-role-models-inspire-girls-stem

 

CONTEST

DuPont Writing Challenge for Grades 7 – 12 (Deadline: January 31)
Year 27 of the DuPont Challenge—a national writing competition for middle and high school students—kicked off last week with a new focus on addressing global challenges. The DuPont Challenge calls on students in grades 7–12 from the United States, Canada, and U.S. territories to research, think critically, and write an essay that provides innovative ideas on the world’s most pressing challenges, or demonstrates the application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to our daily lives.
This year, the Challenge asks students to take a solutions-focused approach and address one of four categories in their 700–1,000-word essay:
    * Together, we can feed the world.
    * Together, we can build a secure energy future.
    * Together, we can protect people and the environment.
    * Together, we can be innovative anywhere.
Students and sponsoring teacher prizes include savings bonds, teaching grants, exciting trips, and much more. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2013. For more information, including official rules, entry forms, and details on awards, please visit the Challenge website at: http://www.thechallenge.dupont.com

 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY

Jean Lafitte National Park for Cypress Forest Restoration
Volunteers are needed for Jean Lafitte National Park’s biggest annual project, coming up on December 7 and 8. They are planting 800 cypress trees on Bayou Segnette in Jean Lafitte National Park, and need a great volunteer crew to get the job done. CRCL and Jean Lafitte National Park have teamed up on this waterway before, and the results are amazing. Sign up here!

 

RESOURCES

The September 2012 edition of the Gulf of Mexico News is available online at http://coastalmanagement.noaa.gov/news/gomexnews.html

Pilot Study Available For Educators through Bear Trust International
BLACK BEARS, GRIZZLY BEARS, SLOTH BEARS, SPECTACLED BEARS! What can these bears help teach your students? Not only can bear-based lessons help raise conservation awareness and environmental literacy, but they also help hone skills in science, math, and communications. Bear Trust International is offering FREE science-based lessons rooted in bear research and ecology. Currently, they are conducting a pilot study to evaluate The Curriculum Guide to The Bear Book, which includes 8 lessons that link to stories and scientific papers on wild bears. This program targets students in grades 9-12. Also offered is Bear Essentials, 9 science-based lessons that target kids in grades K-8. Both programs are web-based, free, and project-based. All lessons meet National Science Standards. Pick and choose which lessons you wish to use! Want to learn more?  lease visit the teacher's Education Portal on Bear Trust International's website:  http://beartrust.org/the-bear-book-and-curriculum-guide-to-the-bear-book. To participate in the pilot study, please contact Dr. Melissa Reynolds-Hogland:  melissa@beartrust.org

Project Noah Video Debut and Toolkit Release December 3
NEEF, with generous support from Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., is partnering with Project Noah on Using Tech to Connect Students & the Environment, a video on how technology can further STEM learning through the environment, both outside and in the classroom. NEEF will release a free toolkit along with the video that provides a set of teacher-recommended resources and tools for using technology to help teachers design and implement environmental education projects with their students.
     Social media contest:K-12 classroom teachers will be invited to view this video and leave a comment answering the question, “How do you use technology to explore the environment with your students?” Comments will be entered into a drawing to win product from Toshiba. Prizes include:
First drawing:Toshiba Satellite® U945 Ultrabook™ and 4 CAMILEO® BW20 Cameras
Second drawing:5 Toshiba CAMILEO® BW20 Overview with 5 - 16GB micro SD Cards
Third drawing:Toshiba Canvio® 3.0 1TB Portable Hard Drive with Carrying Case and 1 CAMILEO® BW20 Camera
Runners-Up: 10 runners-up will each receive an Amazon.com gift card worth $25
The video and contest will be available on NEEF’s Facebook page: http://goo.gl/FidAX.

Check out The Shape of Life: the Story of the Animal Kingdom, Formatted for the Classroom:  http://shapeoflife.org/
The Shape of Life's mission is to get the high quality, scientific videos found on the website into the classroom. If your classroom has access to a computer, you can stream the videos directly or if you prefer, download any/all the videos found on this site using the download button on each individual video page. These videos are hosted at vimeo.com. Since many schools block websites such as Vimeo from their network you may need to download the videos for classroom use. If playing these videos from a computer is not possible, you can request a DVD set which will be sent for cost of shipping and handling: $5.00
- From sponges, to worms, to humans, each phylum is presented, showing the exquisite design of its body plan and the evolutionary developments that lead to today’s astonishing diversity.
- Animations explain the intricate inner workings of animals’ bodies, demonstrating how form and function are complementary.
- Never before filmed animal behaviors show animals hunting and feeding in their natural habitats.
- Scientists are shown at work, as they study paleontology, genetics and ecology, pursuing their passion for the animals they study.
- Other topics present exciting new developments in genetics, paleontology, and engineering.

The NEED Oil and Gas curriculums
The NEED Oil and Gas curriculums are available online for free as downloadable PDFs: www.need.org. The curriculum guides are written for primary, elementary, and intermediate/secondary – Oil, Gas and their energy (K-2), Wonders of Oil and Gas (3-5), Exploring Oil and Gas (6-12)

 

LAGNIAPPE

Remember to take a moment to enjoy the meteor shower on the evenings of December 13-14, beginning at 9 PM!

NGSS Second and Final Public Draft to be Released in January
Achieve announced last week that the second and final public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) will be released the first week in January. Achieve encourages all interested parties to review the draft when it is released and provide feedback. The NGSS will be completed in March 2013. To read the announcement, go to www.nextgenscience.org. NSTA encourages science educators to take the time to review this important draft when it's released and to provide feedback to the writers. To support teachers' understanding of the drafts, we developed a guidefor organizing study groups. An updated guide will be published on the NSTA standards web pagewhen the NGSS draft is released. NSTA is also seeking science educators willing to review the NGSS draft and answer questions about implementation, such as what types of professional development and curricular materials will be needed. Volunteers should be NSTA members and be prepared to spend at least 2–3 hours reviewing the NGSS public draft and answering the NSTA survey questions. If you would like to be considered for this project, please fill out the online registration form. The deadline for registering has been extended until December 14. You will have about 10 days to complete the NSTA survey after the release of the NGSS public draft.

Environmental Awareness Student Art &Language Arts Contest - 2013 Calendars
Get FREE copies of the 2013 calendar “Louisiana Waters: Protect, Conserve, Enjoy!” featuring winning entries from our 2012 Environmental Awareness Student Art & Language Art Contest. This contest is sponsored by the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (LEEC) through the generous support of the Alcoa Foundation. To request a calendar or to learn more about the contest contact Juliet Raffray at jraffray@wlf.la.govor 225-765-0124. Information about the 2013 contest can also be found on our website: www.wlf.la.gov/eec

Inspirational Passages from Bama Environmental News (BEN)
“The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with hands clasped that we might act with restraint that we might leave room for the life that is destined to come. To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wildness we fear is the pause between our own heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy is in our hands.” ~ Terry Tempest Williams

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” ~Gary Snyder

“In the name of the bee, and of the butterfly, and of the breeze, amen!” Emily Dickinson

“He who plants a tree, plants a hope.” ~Lucy Larcom

“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” ~Proverb

“While I am a great believer in the free enterprise system and all that it entails, I am an even stronger believer in the right our people to live in a clean and pollution-free environment.” ~Barry Goldwater

“The wilderness holds answers to questions man has not yet learned to ask.” ~Nancy Newhall

“Wilderness itself is the basis of all our civilization. I wonder if we have enough reverence for life to concede to wilderness the right to live on?" ~ Margaret Murie

“Some things may be profitably broken up and sold for the materials in them; others are better left intact. Would the cherry trees in Washington, D.C. be more useful in the form of kindling? Ought Congress to sell the Lincoln Memorial to a rock crushing concern, or the paintings in the National Gallery to a rag collector?… The remaining bits of American wilderness also constitute a great national treasure, but if Congress permits them to be destroyed, they, like Humpty-Dumpty, can never be put back together again.” ~ Connie Harvey

Sources:
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/conservation
http://www.pwconserve.org/issues/conservation/conservationquotes.htm
http://www.wildernessworkshop.org/library/quotes/
The Bama Environmental News is edited and published by Pat Byington. To receive back copies of BEN go to http://www.bamanews2.blogspot.com

Find out about wetland outreach activities including symposiums, conferences, meetings, educational opportunities, volunteer opportunities, and related support material at the Louisiana Unified Coastal Community Calendar at http://lacoast.gov/calendar/


Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (LEEC) – www.wlf.la.gov/eec
Venise Ortego, Coordinator, 337-948-0255, vortego@wlf.la.gov
Juliet Raffray, Assistant Coordinator, 225-765-0124, jraffray@wlf.la.gov

Second Black Bear Found Dead Within a Week

Release Date: 12/05/2012

Dec. 5, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear that was found in Pointe Coupee Parish.

A hunter alerted authorities on Dec. 3 about a dead black bear lying in the woods between the Atchafalaya River and Louisiana Hwy. 1 on property owned by RoyOMartin.  RoyOMartin leases this part of their land for hunters.

Officials found an adult female black bear weighing about 225 pounds dead from an apparent high powered rifle gunshot wound.  LDWF is estimating that the bear was shot and killed late last week between Nov. 28 and Dec. 1.

A cash reward totaling up to $7,000 is being offered to anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction for this illegal killing of a black bear.  RoyOMartin is contributing $1,000 of the $7,000 total reward.

This is the second bear in a week that was found shot to death.  Officials found a dead black bear in Avoyelles Parish on Nov. 27.  A $6,000 reward is being offered for help in that case.

“RoyOMartin is in full support of black bear conservation in Louisiana and want to see the person who committed this crime held responsible,” said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF’s Enforcement Division.  “The department is aggressively working to delist the bear and make a legal hunting season for them, but each illegal killing adds time to when that could happen.”

Anyone with information regarding this illegal bear killing should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF's tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple App Store free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 program are monitored 24 hours a day.  Tipsters can also remain anonymous.

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.  Violators are subject to penalties of up to $25,000 and six months in jail.  In addition, a restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear in Louisiana.

With the number of bear and hunter interactions on the rise within the last couple of years, LDWF encourages hunters to carry bear spray and know a few simple rules.  If possible, a hunter encountering a bear should back away and proceed in another direction.  If a bear approaches, you should raise your arms over your head to appear larger and speak in a normal tone of voice to let the bear know you are there.  If the bear continues to approach, wave your arms and yell at the bear.  At this point a hunter could use bear spray to deter the bear's approach.

Hunters should also be aware that baiting deer with corn artificially concentrates bears near deer stands.  It is recommended that hunters either refrain from using corn for bait or use soybeans to reduce bear feeding activity.  Bear encounters can be reported to 1-800-442-2511.

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

Two Men Cited for Duck Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/05/2012

Dec. 5, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents cited two men for migratory game bird (MGB) hunting violations along the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge on Dec. 2.

Agents cited Asaad Layous, 28, and Daniel Heckman, 61, both of French Settlement for hunting MGB during illegal hours, violating non-toxic shot requirements and hunting ducks without a federal duck stamp.  Layous was also cited for hunting MGB with an unplugged gun.

Agents received an anonymous complaint of people shooting wood ducks after legal shooting hours along the Mississippi River just south of Baton Rouge.  After setting up surveillance, agents witnessed the subjects enter the area via truck and quickly split up along an access road to begin calling in wood ducks.

Agents observed Layous and Heckman hunting well after legal shooting hours.  Agents made contact with the men and issued citations for the violations.

Each charge the men were cited with carries a fine from $400 to $950 and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. Davis Madere and Senior Agent Michael Williams.

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

Duplessis Man Cited for Illegally Selling Shrimp

Release Date: 12/05/2012

Dec. 5, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited a man for alleged seafood violations in Saint Gabriel on Dec. 1.

Agents cited Louis Soileau, 53, of Duplessis for selling shrimp without a retail seafood vehicle license and for failing to maintain records.

While patrolling in Saint Gabriel, agents witnessed a man selling shrimp from his vehicle on the side of Highway 30.  Agents approached the man and found he did not possess the required license to sell seafood from his vehicle.  Soileau was also unable to provide agents with records of where the shrimp came from.

Selling fish without a retail seafood license (vehicle) and failing to maintain records each carry a fine from $250 to $500 and up to 90 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. Davis Madere and Senior Agent Michael Williams.

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

Three Jennings Men Cited for Intentional Concealment of Spotted Fawn

Release Date: 12/04/2012

Dec. 4, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited three Jennings men for alleged hunting violations on Thistlethwaite Wildlife Management Area on Nov. 23.

Agents charged Samuel T. Herndon, 22, for taking a spotted fawn, intentional concealment of wildlife and failing to comply with deer tagging or harvest card requirements.  Agents also cited Nicholas J. Demary, 22, and Michael J. Comeaux, 23, for intentional concealment of wildlife.

After the three made a morning hunt on the Thistlethwaite WMA, agents found them in possession of a freshly killed spotted fawn hidden behind the seat of their truck.  During the investigation, agents allegedly learned that Herndon shot the fawn and that all three conspired to hide the deer behind the seat to sneak it out of the WMA.

Agents seized a 12-gauge shotgun and the spotted fawn, which was donated to charity.

Intentional concealment of wildlife carries a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking a spotted fawn brings up to a $750 fine and up to 30 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging and harvest card requirements carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Agents also assessed Herndon with $1,624.61 in restitution for the replacement value of the deer.

Agents who are participating in the case are Sgt. Travis Huval, and Senior Agents Ryan Faul and Brandon Fontenot.

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

WEEKLY eNEWS: Grants, Webinars/Workshops, Employment Opportunities, Awards, Challenges, Resources, Lagniappe

A Compilation of Environmental Education News from Across Louisiana

Deadline Approaching – Call for Presenters…Call for Exhibitors!
On February 22-23, 2013, the LEEC and the LEEA will host the 16th Annual Louisiana Environmental Education Symposium – “Our Environment…Our Future” at the Marriott Hotel in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This year we are placing emphasis on the concept of sustainability – understanding, key practices, implementation, and more. The theme for this upcoming conference is “Build a Sustainable Future”!
Exhibitors: Our target audience will include classroom teachers, pre-service teachers, business and industry representatives, non-profit organizations, state and local officials, and non-formal educators.
Presenters: Do you have a hands-on workshop, lesson activities, or exemplary program that you would like to share with other educators? Particularly one that incorporates the concept of sustainability?! Consider presenting at the upcoming 2013 Louisiana EE Symposium! Help teachers by giving them the tools necessary to conduct quality environmental lessons! Also, teachers love presentations made by fellow teachers so if you are a classroom teacher with an innovative lesson, please consider using the symposium as a way to ultimately reach a larger audience of students!
Postmark deadline for exhibitor registrations and presenter proposals is December 20, 2012. Please see attached registration form, proposal form, and informational flyer below. For more information: Venise Ortego, EE Coordinator - 337-948-0255 or vortego@wlf.la.gov or Juliet Raffray, EE Assistant Coordinator - 225-765-0124 or jraffray@wlf.la.gov

 

GRANTS

Environmental Justice Small Grants –solicitation open now
Since its inception in 1994, the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program has awarded more than $23 million in funding to 1,253 community-based organizations, and local and tribal organizations working with communities facing environmental justice issues. The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program supports and empowers communities working on solutions to local environmental and public health issues. The 2013 EJ Small Grant solicitation is now open and will close on January 7, 2013. Applicants must be incorporated non-profits, federally recognized tribal governments, or tribal organizations working to educate, empower and enable their communities to understand and address local environmental and public health issues. EPA will host pre-application teleconference calls on December 1, 2012 and December 13, 2012 to help applicants understand the requirements. For details, visit: http://1.usa.gov/QQosxZ.

 

WEBINARS/WORKSHOPS

Upcoming OneNOAA Science Seminars December 2012
Click on seminar title for location, abstract, remote access:
Tracking HAB Toxins: Advances in Underwater Robotic Sensors
Dive into the Data: A Virtual Intro to the Ocean and Great Lakes Economy
Building with Proteins: Nanotechnology the Way Nature Intended It
Using Mobile Tide-Gage Networks to Observe Storm Surge
Model Development and Analysis
Do Trophic Cascades Affect the Storage and Flux of Atmospheric Carbon? An Analysis of Sea Otters and Kelp Forests
Coupled Modeling: Principles Ad Reality from A MMAB Perspective
The Global Ocean Observing System
Impact of NPP Satellite Assimilation in U.S. Navy Global Modeling System
Dive into the Data: A Virtual Intro to the Ocean and Great Lakes Economy

Webcast on Planning for Sustainability
On December 13, 2012, from 2:00 to 3:30 pm EST, EPA will host a webinar on how water and wastewater utilities can build sustainability considerations into alternatives analysis as they evaluate and select investments in infrastructure. The webinar is the third in a series of Agency webcasts built around the core elements of its 2012 handbook, "Planning for Sustainability: A Handbook for Water and Wastewater Utilities." The webinar will feature presentations on how utilities in Beaverton, Oregon, and Carrboro, North Carolina, have addressed sustainability in their analysis of alternatives. For more information, contact Jim Horne at (202) 564-0571 or horne.james@epa.gov. Click here to register for the free webcast. Click here to view presentations from past webinars in the series or to download a copy of the handbook.

The Arts and Nature Workshop
Saturday, January 12, 2013, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Bossier City. Louisiana
- Discover engaging art experiences inspired by nature that help children make deeper connections with the world around them.
- Practice the Look-Move-Build-Sketch planning tool that encourages multi-faceted arts exploration.
- Learn helpful strategies for supporting each child’s individual needs, especially children with sensory integration challenges.
- Earn professional development contact hours in science and art.
Register for the workshop at http://www.natureexplore.org/workshops/BossierCity.cfm

Green Strides Webinar Series Sessions by USDA, NOAA, DOI and NASA Geared Toward Educators
Session presenters are eager to connect schools with their many existing free resources and programs. Upcoming sessions focus on environmental education/STEM topics for educators as well as several facilities and health topics, which may appeal more to administrators and facilities managers at state, district, and school levels.
January 9, 2013, 3-4 p.m.: Using Remote Sensing to Quantify Changes over Time (NASA)
January 16, 2013, 4-5 p.m.: Food for Thought: Space Food and Nutrition (NASA)

Civic Ecology: Blending Theory and Practice ~ Online (Deadline: January 8, 2013)
This course, offered by the Cornell University Civic Ecology Lab, from February 4-April 29, 2013, is one of a series of online courses offered through EECapacity, EPA’s national environmental education training program. Civic Ecology: Blending Theory and Practice, is an online course designed for professionals, upper level undergraduates, and graduate students engaged in civic ecology practices. http://civicecology.org/doc/2013-course-ce.pdf

Educator Academy in the Amazon Rainforest & Machu Picchu Extension (July 2-11, 2013)
Educator Academy is a cross-curricular professional development workshop for formal and informal educators to learn and use innovative instructional approaches (5E lesson design, inquiry-based learning, STEM problem solving), protocols (PLT, GLOBE, Project Noah) and perspectives (sustainability, global education, service learning) while exploring one of the world's most important natural resources—the Amazon Rainforest. Experience a 1/4-mile Rainforest Canopy Walkway, research on Weather and Climate Change, interactions with Indigenous Yagua and Riberenos, a Village Service Project, ReNuPeru Ethnobotanical Garden, Monkey Island Conservation Project, and problem solving inspired by biomimicry. PD Hours available. Academic credit and Machu Picchu extension optional. Land cost is $1985, plus air. Win one of three $1000 scholarships drawn on March 8. Land cost is $985 for scholarship winners. Open registration through May if space is available. Questions: Contact christa@amazonworkshops.comor 800-431-3634. http://www.amazonworkshops.com/educators--naturalists.html

Master of Science in Ecological Teaching and Learning (ETL)
The Master of Science in Ecological Teaching and Learning (ETL) is designed for educators from private and public schools, museums, non-profit centers, environmental centers, and government organizations who want to deepen their understanding of ecology, sustainability, living systems, and ecological education and to apply their learning to their professional contexts. Teachers from across the disciplines—not just science teachers—complete this program. ETL is an 18-month accelerated program that includes two summer field experiences and distance learning in the fall and spring semesters. The first summer field experience is in a beautiful wild place and the second summer field experience is in a dynamic urban setting. http://lesley.edu/gsass/environmental_studies/etl/etl_index.html

 

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

National Wildlife Federation – Senior Policy Specialist,
Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign, Washington D.C.
Link to job posting: http://ch.tbe.taleo.net/CH18/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=NWF&cws=1&rid=500
The Senior Policy Specialist will be responsible for National Wildlife Federation’s national portion of the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign (MRDRC) to secure authorization and federal funding for restoring the Mississippi River delta, in concert with team members in Louisiana and nationwide, with NWF’s Gulf Coast Restoration team, and with our MRDRC partner organizations. This position will be responsible for working within NWF and with our partners on this campaign to advance efforts to restore the delta. Specifically, the Senior Policy Specialist will focus on national campaign planning, political strategy, policy analysis, lobbying, and some national media outreach.
Contact: David Muth, (504) 348-3518, muthd@nwf.org

 

AWARDS

EPA Gulf of Mexico Program Seeks Gulf Guardian Award Nominations for 2013 (Deadline: March 8, 2013)
The Gulf Guardian awards recognizes and honors the businesses, community groups, individuals, and organizations that are taking extraordinary steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. Recipients also exemplify innovative solutions to positively impact our quality of life and economic well being on the Gulf of Mexico. For the year 2013, the Gulf of Mexico Program will be awarding 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards for the following seven (7) categories: Business & Industry – Environmental Justice/Cultural Diversity – Civic/Non-Profit Organizations – Partnerships – Youth Environmental Education – Individual – Bi-National Partnerships
To complete a nomination application for 2013, visit the Gulf of Mexico Program's web site at www.epa.gov/gmpo. Email nominations to gulf.guardian@epa.gov by March 8, 2013. For questions or further information or assistance, please contact The Gulf of Mexico Program Office at (228) 688-3726.

 

CHALLENGES

The KidWind Project Student Challenge
The KidWind Projec t is the recognized leader in renewable energy science education. For 10 years, they have been developing engaging renewable energy curriculum and hands-on experiment kits. The KidWind Challenge is an exciting STEM design competition for students. This challenge spans to over 15 states and a national competition in conjunction with the American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) annual conference in Chicago, IL. There is also a web-based competition that is free and open to any student in the world to compete. To learn more and get involved with the KidWind Challenge, visit:http://learn.kidwind.org/challenge.

International Students Carbon Footprint Challenge
This project unites high school students worldwide as they calculate their individual footprints using an online “footprint calculator” (a series of questions) and post class data on a world map. They then enter discussions about their footprints and how to work toward solutions to globally shared environmental issues. The website includes instructions and lesson plans for introducing the footprint calculator to students and using the collected data in the classroom.

Go Bananas! Challenge (Deadline: April 8, 2013)
Take the Go Bananas! Challenge—a nationwide competition that challenges schools and scout groups to Answer the Call and create campaigns to collect and recycle cell phones to help save gorillas. Collect the most cell phones and win up to $5,000 for your school/scout group. Coltan, a mineral found in cell phones, is mined in gorilla habitat. By recycling old cell phones you reduce the demand. Join the challenge online and start thinking about a creative campaign. http://cincinnatizoo.org/savingspecies/

 

RESOURCES

EPA Releases Effective Utility Management and Lean Resource Guide for Water Sector Utilities 
EPA has developed a Resource Guide to Effective Utility Management and Lean based on input and examples from several utilities. The guide explains how utilities can use these two important and complementary approaches to reduce waste and improve overall efficiency and effectiveness. Effective utility management provides a common management framework to help water and wastewater systems build and sustain the technical, managerial and financial capacity needed to ensure sustainable operations. While the focus is on outcomes water sector utilities should strive to achieve, there is also a need to demonstrate how other well-accepted tools can help utilities achieve these outcomes by improving efficiency, reducing waste in their operations, and improving other areas of performance. One set of tools involves the use of Lean techniques. Lean is a business improvement approach focused on eliminating non-value added activity or "waste" using practical, implementation-based methods. Click here for more information.

Collaboration Toolkit for Protecting Drinking Water Sources through Agricultural Conservation Practices
The collaboration toolkit Protecting Drinking Water Sources through Agricultural Conservation Practices is now available online. The toolkit offers effective steps that source water protection professionals working at the state level can take to build partnerships with USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to get more agricultural conservation practices on the ground to protect sources of drinking water. Developed by the Source Water Collaborative, a group composed of 23 organizations working together to protect sources of drinking water, with support from EPA and in consultation with NRCS, the toolkit includes insightful tips and highlights specific opportunities states can take advantage of immediately. In addition, the Source Water Collaborative is working with the National Association of Conservation Districts to develop a locally-focused supplement to the toolkit to provide a step-by-step process for collaborating with conservation districts. Click here to view the toolkit.

Updated Data Now Available through EPA's Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool
EPA has added updated data in the Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool (NPDAT), a tool intended to help states develop effective nitrogen and phosphorus source reduction strategies. Specifically, the updates include the Facilities Likely to Discharge Nitrogen/Phosphorus (N/P) to Water data layer, which now provides information on nitrogen and phosphorus discharges from 2010 facility monitoring reports with corresponding nitrogen and phosphorus limits from EPA's Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool. Another other update is the Waters Listed for N/P Impairments and Waters with N/P TMDLs data layers which now reflect data pulled from the Assessment TMDL Tracking and Implementation System (ATTAINS). These layers have been updated from information from 2008 and 2011, respectively. Click here for NPDAT and the updated data layers.

Teaching about Hurricane Sandy
The National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) EcoSchools USA program has created new web pages and resources for schools and students to better understand Hurricane Sandy, climate change, and natural disasters. Education pages contain information, links, and resources for the following topics:
- What are hurricanes?
- What is the link to climate change?
- How can you help kids cope with natural disasters?
- How do you plan for natural disasters?

EPA Launches SepticSmart, Promoting Homeowner Care and Maintenance of Septic Systems
EPA has launched SepticSmart, a national program to promote proper septic system care and maintenance by homeowners. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 25 percent of U.S. households-more than 26 million homes-and almost one-third of new developments are serviced by septic systems. When properly maintained and used, these systems serve to effectively treat and dispose of wastewater. Unfortunately, septic system back-ups and overflows can lead to costly homeowner repairs and can pollute local waterways, creating a risk to public health and the environment. SepticSmart aims to educate homeowners about proper daily system use and the need for periodic septic system maintenance. SepticSmart also provides industry practitioners, local governments and community organizations with tools and materials to educate their clients and residents. To learn more, visit: http://www.epa.gov/septicsmart

Fall is a great time for our Victory Garden Project
One of the goals of the Victory Garden Project at the Museum is to teach students how important community was during WWII and how those lessons of community are still relevant today. This project includes activities and curriculum for students near and far. The wonderful Victory Garden Field Trip teaches students about community on the Home Front during the War and combines lessons of civics, history, biology and earth science. Introducing elementary students to the lessons and history of WWII in the classroom can be complicated and The Classroom Victory Garden Project is a great place to start. Here you will find curriculum and projects, a WWII Timeline especially for kids, resources on starting a garden at your school (or in your community) and much more! Get a free Victory Garden Poster here.

Green Building Program Overview  
The Green Building Program educates K-12 students on green building attributes and benefits, and provides them with the strategies to take steps toward improving environmental inefficiencies within their own school building and homes. The program includes free: lessons (organized by grade level), auditscase studieskey green building concepts(explained)

Free K-8 Climate Change Program
Ready to inspire environmental action in your school community? The grassroots organization, Cool the Earth, is now enrolling K-8 schools for the 2012-13 school year to run their free climate change program that motivates students and their families to take carbon-saving actions. The ready-to-run program is implemented by a parent or teacher volunteer so step up and start making a change at your school! Get inspired and watch their video here. http://www.cooltheearth.org

 

LAGNIAPPE

Homework and Grades Study
A new study led by Indiana University found that there is little correlation between time spent on homework and better course grades for math and science students, but a positive relationship between homework time and performance on standardized tests. When Is Homework Worth the time?: Evaluating the Association Between Homework and Achievement in High School Science and Math”

Environmental Awareness Student Art &Language Arts Contest - 2013 Calendars
Get FREE copies of the 2013 calendar “Louisiana Waters: Protect, Conserve, Enjoy!” featuring winning entries from our 2012 Environmental Awareness Student Art & Language Art Contest. This contest is sponsored by the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (LEEC) through the generous support of the Alcoa Foundation. To request a calendar or to learn more about the contest contact Juliet Raffray at jraffray@wlf.la.govor 225-765-0124. Information about the 2013 contest can also be found on our website: www.wlf.la.gov/eec

 

Find out about wetland outreach activities including symposiums, conferences, meetings, educational opportunities, volunteer opportunities, and related support material at the Louisiana Unified Coastal Community Calendar at http://lacoast.gov/calendar/


Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (LEEC) – www.wlf.la.gov/eec
Venise Ortego, Coordinator, 337-948-0255, vortego@wlf.la.gov
Juliet Raffray, Assistant Coordinator, 225-765-0124, jraffray@wlf.la.gov

Two Men Sentenced In Intentional Concealment Case In Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 11/29/2012

Nov. 29, 2012 -- On Nov. 29, 2012 two men pleaded guilty to commercial fishing violations in the 25th Judicial District of Plaquemines Parish.

Rick Nguyen, 37, of Buras, and Hung Anh Tiet, 29, of Dallas, Texas, both pleaded guilty to the intentional concealment of illegal fish.

Judge Kevin Conner ordered both men to pay a fine of $950 plus courts costs.  In addition, both Nguyen and Tiet had there set line licenses and state shark permits revoked for life.  Both men are also forbidden to involve themselves in any way in the shark industry for a period of two years.

This conviction was a result of a joint enforcement patrol with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Law Enforcement on April 8, 2012.

LDWF agents made contact with Nguyen and Tiet while responding to an anonymous complaint from offshore recreational fishermen of over the commercial daily limit of sharks.  Agents stopped the vessel “Lady Lyanna” in Tiger Pass located in Venice.

Upon immediate inspection of the vessel, agents found whole sharks located on the deck.  After further investigation, agents found a hidden compartment in the bow of the vessel that contained 12 large sacks of shark fins.  The bodies of the sharks belonging to the fins were not on the vessel.

Shark “finning” is an illegal practice of removing the shark’s fins, which are the most profitable part of the shark, and then discarding the rest of the shark’s body overboard.

The two men were in possession of 2,073 individual shark fins and 11 whole sharks. The 2,073 individual fins represent a total of 518 sharks bringing the total number of sharks possessed to 529.  The daily commercial limit for sharks in Louisiana is 33 per vessel placing the two men 496 sharks over their daily limit.

Federal prosecution is still pending by the NOAA General Counsel Office for the over limit and shark finning allegations.

Assistant District Attorney Jerry Lobrano prosecuted the case.

Agents participating in the case and prosecution were Sgt. Adam Young and Senior Agent Villere Reggio.

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

Two New Orleans Men Cited For Red Drum Violations In Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 11/29/2012

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agent cited two New Orleans men for alleged red drum fishing violations on Nov. 24 in Plaquemines Parish.

Sgt. Adam Young cited Charles H. Stafford III, 22, and Percy I. Morgan Jr., 25, for taking over double the daily limit and undersized red drum after being found in possession of 50 red drum on the Shell Pipeline Canal located near Port Sulphur. 

All of the red drum were under the legal size limit of 16 inches except for one.  The daily limit on red drum is five fish per person, which put the men 40 red drum over the limit.

Possessing over the double the daily limit of red drum carries up to a $950 fine or up to 120 days in jail.  Taking undersized red drum brings up to a $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Additionally, the men will be accessed $1,323.50 in restitution for the illegally taken fish.

Sgt. Young seized the red drum and donated them to a local charity.

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

Black Bear Found Dead in Avoyelles Parish

Release Date: 11/28/2012

Nov. 28, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear that was found in the Avoyelles Parish.

The Service just announced adding $5,000 to the reward to the $1,000 from the state for a total of $6,000.

A hunter alerted authorities on Nov. 27 about a dead black bear laying on an all-terrain vehicle trail on Avoyelles Parish School Board property located 20 miles northwest of Marksville.

LDWF and USFWS officials arrived on scene and found a male black bear approximately two years old and weighing about 100 pounds dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

LDWF is estimating that the bear was shot and killed earlier in the day on Nov. 27.

Anyone with information regarding this illegal bear killing should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF's tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple App Store free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 program are monitored 24 hours a day.  Cash rewards up to $1,000 are offered for information leading to the apprehension of individuals involved in this crime.  Tipsters can also remain anonymous.

"We have solved cases like this in the past with the public's help and we are again asking for any leads that might assist us in this investigation," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division."

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.  Violators are subject to penalties of up to $25,000 and six months in jail.  In addition, a restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear in Louisiana.

With the number of bear and hunter interactions on the rise within the last couple of years, LDWF encourages hunters to carry bear spray and know a few simple rules.  If possible, a hunter encountering a bear should back away and proceed in another direction.  If a bear approaches, you should raise your arms over your head to appear larger and speak in a normal tone of voice to let the bear know you are there.  If the bear continues to approach, wave your arms and yell at the bear.  At this point a hunter could use bear spray to deter the bear's approach.

Hunters should also be aware that baiting deer with corn artificially concentrates bears near deer stands.  It is recommended that hunters either refrain from using corn for bait or use soybeans to reduce bear feeding activity.  Bear encounters can be reported to 1-800-442-2511.

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

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