L.D.W.F. To Take Part in New Anti-Littering Campaign

Release Date: 03/17/2011

L.D.W.F. To Take Part in New Anti-Littering Campaign

Photos and B-Roll footage of littering sites in Louisiana are available by contacting Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

March 17, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in conjunction with Keep Louisiana Beautiful (KLB) today, March 17, announced a new anti-littering slogan for the upcoming heightened enforcement for littering weekend this Friday through Sunday, March 18-20.

The new slogan of "Pick It Up or Pay It Out" will be used extensively this weekend to raise awareness of the consequences of littering in Louisiana. Pick It Up or Pay It Out is a cooperative effort of law enforcement agencies in Louisiana including the LDWF Enforcement Division, Louisiana State Police, Louisiana's Sheriff's Association and other law enforcement agencies to implement zero tolerance litter policies in their jurisdictions with increased patrols this weekend. The Office of the Lieutenant Governor and Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles has also joined KLB in this new anti-littering campaign.

"Every time someone drops a piece of paper on the ground, throws a cigarette butt out the window, or dumps trash on abandoned land, they are trashing Louisiana for all of us," said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. "We all think that a little bit of trash here and there isn’t a big deal, but it adds up. We are blessed to live in a state with some of the world’s most phenomenal natural and wildlife resources. Protecting Sportsman's Paradise is essential to ensuring that future generations may continue to enjoy the great outdoors throughout our state. We all have the chance to do our part."

In addition to citations and fines, Pick It Up or Pay It Out also wants to educate Louisianans of the indirect economic costs of littering including real estate devaluation, loss of new industry and business and loss of tourism and ecotourism, especially in "Sportsman's Paradise."

"As I travel the state I continue to see trash along our Interstates, state highways and local roads. We are attempting to market Louisiana as an adventure travel destination, and we must become more aggressive in our efforts to combat this problem," Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. "We are a state of great natural beauty that should not be marred by carelessness and disregard."

According to Keep Louisiana Beautiful, cleanup crews picked up an estimated 450,000 bags of trash in the state in 2004.

KLB Director Leigh Harris states that, "Litter costs Louisiana taxpayers well over $40 million annually. With the help of Louisiana State Police, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, the Louisiana Sheriff's Association and the Lieutenant Governor's Office, we hope Louisiana citizens become even more aware of the legal consequences associated with littering."

Littering in Louisiana can result in fines from $50 to $5,000. Those who litter can also expect to serve between four and 10 hours of community service, suspension of their driver's license for one year and even the possibility of jail time for up to 30 days. LDWF Enforcement Division agents issued 1,001 littering citations for fiscal year 2009-10 and logged 7,958 patrol hours for littering enforcement.

LDWF also took over the state's 1-888-LITRBUG (1-888-548-7284) hotline last June. Citizens can call the hotline to report people that litter and littering sites to the department for further investigation. Since June 1, the Enforcement Division has received 731 calls.

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.

About Keep Louisiana Beautiful
Keep Louisiana Beautiful is a volunteer-based service organization dedicated to a healthy and litter-free Louisiana. Through a network of affiliate communities statewide, KLB promotes its mission to educate Louisianans on the ecological and economic effects of littering. For more information, visit www.keeplouisianabeautiful.org. Find us on Facebook “Keep Louisiana Beautiful” and follow us on Twitter @keeplabeautiful.

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