Release Date: 01/20/2006

The Louisiana Artificial Reef Council has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006 at 1 p.m. in the fourth floor conference room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters in Baton Rouge.

The council oversees Louisianas Artificial Reef Program.  The Louisiana Fishing Enhancement Act established the council in 1986 to enhance and maintain fish habitat in the states offshore waters by utilizing oil and gas platforms that are no longer used. 

The Artificial Reef Council is composed of LDWF Secretary Dwight Landreneau, Dean of the School of the Coast and Environment Dr. Edward Laws and the Executive Director of the Louisiana Sea Grant Dr. Charles Wilson.

The council will discuss the status of the offshore oil and gas platforms that were damaged or destroyed during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and their potential use as artificial reefs and special artificial reefs under Louisianas Artificial Reef Program.  Special artificial reefs are those created to take advantage of material available for construction outside the nine planning regions designated by the Louisiana Artificial Reef Program, while minimizing impacts on other user groups such as shrimping and navigation.  Public comments will be accepted.

The agenda for the Feb. 15 meeting is as follows:

1)   Introduction and Welcome - John Roussel

2)   Review of Special Artificial Reef Site (SARS) Criteria - Rick Kasprzak

3)   Criteria for Consideration - Rick Kasprzak

4)   Review of Hurricane Katrina and Rita Storm Damage - Tommy Laurendine MMS

5)   Damaged Platforms in Planning Areas - Rick Kasprzak

6)   Special Artificial Reef Site (SARS) Requests to LDWF - Rick Kasprzak

7)   Public Comments

8)   Council Action

9)   Adjourn

EDITORS: For more information, contact Rick Kasprzak at 225-765-2375 rkasprzak@wlf.louisiana.gov.