The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission issued a proclamation today declaring March 8 through 10 as "Zero Tolerance for Litter in the Sportsman's Paradise Days." This proclamation is in conjunction with a statewide awareness campaign by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division, Louisiana State Police and Keep Louisiana Beautiful (KLB).
The Zero Tolerance For Litter campaign is intended to send a strong message from enforcement agencies that people who litter will be actively pursued and fined throughout the year. Littering in Louisiana can result in fines from $50 to $5,000 and from four to 100 hours of community service. Driver's license suspension and jail time are also possible penalties.
KLB encourages citizens to clean out truck beds, and to refrain from throwing cigarette butts or other trash out of windows or watercraft to avoid ticketing.
Along with issuing citations, the program is designed to raise awareness among Louisianans about the consequences of littering and dumping. Some facts of interest include:
Litter costs Louisiana taxpayers more than $15 million annually
Litter can affect the environment hurting everything from fish breeding grounds to contributing to flooding problems
"Wildlife and Fisheries is dedicated to providing opportunities for the public to enjoy the riches and benefits of a healthy and diverse ecosystem while supporting management, protection and conservation of our states living natural resources. The crime of littering adversely affects the ecosystem and we will continue to focus enforcement efforts in this area," said LDWF Major Jeff Mayne.
For more information, contact Major Jeff Mayne at 225-765-2980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ZERO TOLERANCE FOR LITTER WEEKEND LITTER FACT SHEET
_ Litter directly costs Louisiana taxpayers $15 million annually.
_ Litter contributes to flooding when it collects in canals preventing water from draining properly.
_ The four most common litter items in Louisiana are cigarettes, fast-food packaging, candy/snack packaging and beverage containers.
_ Litter is a health risk to you and your pets as it attracts rodents, vermin and germs.
_ Cigarette butts are dangerous to wildlife and have been found in the stomachs of cats, dogs, birds and squirrels.
_ Litter takes a long time to biodegrade. An orange peel takes six months, a plastic bag 10-20 years and paper from two to five months.
LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF LITTERING
Intentional littering is intentionally disposing of litter in a public place or on private property not owned by the offender. Intentional littering can result in fines of $250 and eight hours of community service in a litter abatement program.
Simple littering includes creating a condition in which the person knew (or should have known) would likely result in the disposal of litter on public or private property not belonging to the offender. Using a truck bed as a garbage can or throwing a cigarette butt out of a window is simple littering. Penalties for simple littering start at $75 in fines and eight hours of community service. Penalties are doubled for second-time offenders.
WHAT CITIZENS CAN DO TO HELP
_ Clean out truck beds and refrain from throwing cigarette butts or other trash out of cars or watercraft.
_ Carry a litterbag in your car and boat.
_ Securely cover trash containers to prevent animals from spreading litter.
_ If citizens do witness littering or illegal dumping violations, they are urged to call the state anti-litter hotline at 1-888-LIT-R-BUG (1-888-548-7284).