Volunteers Return to Pass A Loutre WMA For Marsh Restoration Project Phase Two

Release Date: 03/29/2011

Ohio State University students on spring break place Gulf Saver Bags at Pass a Loutre WMA on March 24.
Volunteers, coordinated by Common Ground Relief for Restore the Earth Foundation, prepare for trip to Pass a Loutre WMA.
Gulf Saver Bags placed at Pass a Loutre WMA are designed to stimulate marsh restoration and growth.

March 29, 2011 - Volunteers from around the state and country assisted the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) marsh restoration efforts March 24 with a second installation of Gulf Saver Bags at Pass a Loutre Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

Common Ground Relief coordinated the effort for the Restore the Earth Foundation and LDWF, bringing in students on spring break from Ohio State University, and representatives of Bayou Rebirth, (San Francisco) For the Bayou, Global Green and Plaquemines Parish officials and citizens.

The volunteers assisted LDWF Coastal and Non-game Resources Division personnel distribute 800 Gulf Saver Bags at the WMA that forms the southeast tip of Plaquemines Parish, where the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The vital wetland habitat within the WMA provides a natural home and breeding grounds for shrimp, crabs, oysters, and more than five million migratory birds. Hurricane activity and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 have further advanced the effects of coastal erosion to this southeastern Louisiana shoreline that forms the first line of defense against storm surge and tidal fluctuations.

The Gulf Saver Bag is a package of native marsh grasses with its own supply of natural nutrients and oil eating micro-organisms combined to support, feed and protect the new growth of marsh grasses in areas of need. The bag is standard biodegradable burlap weighing 20 pounds when packed. Placement by hand from small transport vessels minimizes disruption of shallow sediment along deteriorating coastal land mass. The 800 bags placed along the marsh shoreline Thursday supplement the 400 bags distributed by an initial volunteer effort in December 2010.

Funding for materials used at Pass a Loutre was provided by donations from individuals and matching donations from the Coypu Foundation, the Ittleson Foundation, State Farm Insurance and Restore Americas Estuaries. Additional funds were raised though benefit concerts held in San Francisco and sponsored by For the Bayou, as well as a Benefit the Bayou concert held in Cape Cod, and a car wash held by Ben Franklin High School in New Orleans. For more information on the Gulf Saver Bag project, visit www.gulfsaversolutions.com.

Pass a Loutre WMA encompasses 115,000 acres and is the oldest wildlife management area in Louisiana. Visit www.wlf.la.gov for information on LDWF’s coastal wildlife management areas.

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 Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

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L.W.F. Honors Biologist Michael Carloss with 2010 Conservation Achievement Award

Release Date: 03/21/2011

March 21, 2011 - The Louisiana Wildlife Federation honored Louisiana Department Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Biologist Director Michael Carloss as a 2010 Conservation Achievement Award winner on March 19 at the federation’s annual convention in Alexandria.

Carloss directed LDWF’s Coastal and Nongame Resources Division wildlife rescue response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. That effort included coordination of federal agency resources for bird rescue within rookeries and nesting islands, and establishing rescue protocol for heavily populated bird habitat along the Louisiana coast. 

A former president of the Louisiana Association of Professional Biologists, Carloss holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and is a 23-year state employee. He also worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service on coastal restoration issues.

Four other individuals and three organizations were also honored for their outstanding conservation achievements last year. They are:

Ted Falgout, retired executive director of Port Fourchon, chosen to receive the Governor's Award - Conservationist of the Year for 2010; 

Kenneth Sayes of Woodworth, owner of Sayes Office Supply in Alexandria, for volunteering his time and leadership skills to encourage local youth to participate in outdoor events;

Amy Griffin Ouchley of Farmerville for her environmental education leadership as a biology teacher, workshop instructor, and Volunteer Environmental Education Director for Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge;

William “Billy” Nungesser, Plaquemines Parish President, for developing the Parish Strategic Implementation Plan to proactively address coastal restoration and for his advocacy and leadership during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to protect the coastal marsh of Plaquemines Parish;

The First Presbyterian Church of Bayou Blue for advocacy efforts at the regional and national level that explain the importance of Louisiana’s wetlands and the need for coastal restoration by hosting national and international citizen leaders, visiting other coastal sites facing coastal erosion, and supporting local conservation projects;

Future Leaders of America’s Gulf (FLAG), a youth organization in Houma started by high-school students in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, for educating youth at the local and national level through media and social networking about the issues facing the future of the Gulf of Mexico; and

ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Complex for developing and implementing a wildlife restoration plan for ten sites in Louisiana through the leadership of its Wildlife Habitat Team and in partnership with Southern University. 

The Louisiana Wildlife Federation is a statewide conservation education and advocacy organization with more than 10,000 members and 26 affiliate groups. Established in 1940, it is affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation and represents a broad constituency of conservationists including hunters, fishers, campers, birders, boaters, and other outdoor enthusiasts.

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 Jodie Singer at 225-344-6762 or Jodie@lawildlifefed.org or Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov. 

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