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Two Houma Men Cited for Oyster Violations in Terrebonne Parish

Release Date: 07/25/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited two Houma men for alleged oyster violations in Terrebonne Parish on July 18.

Agents cited Israel Beiza-Lopez, 32, and Ruiz Alexis-Luan, 44, for taking oysters during a closed season on the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation and taking oysters from unleased state water bottoms.

Agents were on patrol around 5 p.m. on July 18 when they observed a vessel in the Sister Lake Seed Reservation actively dredging for oysters.  Agents stopped the vessel and found the men in possession of four sacks of oysters.

Agents seized the vessel and oyster dredges on a department seizure order and returned the four sacks of oysters to the water.

Taking oysters during a closed season and from an unleased state water bottom each brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. The men could also face having their oyster harvester licenses revoked by LDWF for up to one year.  The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel that is equipped with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.

LEEC eNews: Job Opportunities, Marine Debris Monitoring Toolkit, and More!

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Cadet Passes Away During Third Week of LDWF Training

Release Date: 07/20/2018

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) cadet passed away on July 19 in Baton Rouge.

Cadet Immanuel Washington, 38, of Youngsville, passed away at Ochsner Medical Center in Baton Rouge on July 19, a day after being rushed to the hospital.

“Our hearts are broken by this tragedy,” said Jack Montoucet, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. “The whole Wildlife and Fisheries family offer our prayers for his wife, his children, his family and friends. From the accounts I received, Mr. Washington was an excellent cadet and an even better person. This is a loss for Louisiana.”

Washington was in the third week of his training to become an LDWF Enforcement Division Agent at the LDWF Training Academy located off N. Flannery Road in Baton Rouge.  After completing a two-and-a-half mile run on the morning of July 18, the cadets were in the cool down period of their physical training when Washington collapsed to the ground.

Training agents immediately called for an ambulance and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Washington.  Agents continued CPR until the ambulance arrived to take him to Ochsner Medical Center.  Once at the hospital, Washington was placed on life support in the intensive care unit until his passing on the morning of July 19.

“All of our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Washington’s family at this point. This is a very sad time for his family, the agents and the cadets that came to know him during his training,” said Col. Sammy Martin, head of the enforcement division.  “From everything I’ve heard about this man his dream was to become a Wildlife and Fisheries agent.  We were very happy to hire him and believe he would have made a great agent.”

Washington’s body was turned over to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death. He is survived by his wife, a three-year-old-son and a one-year-old daughter.

Gov. Edwards Announces $60M in Coastal Recreational Projects

Release Date: 07/17/2018

Deepwater Horizon settlement funds to pay for engineering, design and construction

Baton Rouge -Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced $60 million in new coastal projects to be built and paid for with funds from the settlement of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

“The oil spill impacted Louisiana’s environment and natural resources, but it also took a toll on our way of life and the recreational opportunities that make Louisiana a true Sportsman’s Paradise,” said Gov. Edwards. “Several beaches were closed, access to fishing areas and bays was limited and recreational fishing was cut short as a result of the spill, not to mention camping and other outdoor activities that were put on hold as a result of the spill and the cleanup efforts.  The funding provided by this settlement will cover the complete cost of the engineering, design and construction of 23 projects spanning our coast that will directly impact the communities that have been recovering since the spill and we are delighted to see these projects get underway.”

Projects will be constructed in nine coastal parishes, with another project enhancing artificial reef sites across Louisiana’s coast. Potential projects were solicited by the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group and then vetted through months of public input and hearings. Of the projects ultimately selected, 17 were submitted by the state Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries; five by the La. Office of State Parks; and one by the U.S. Dept. of the Interior.   

“This is about recreation, enhancing the opportunities to enjoy the natural bounty of our coast and all it offers,” said Jack Montoucet, Secretary of the Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries. “We’re going to build or improve boat ramps and mooring docks, and construct new fishing piers in many areas, and we’re going to make Elmer’s Island even more accessible for users to access the recently-restored beach.”

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, who experienced the oil spill first hand when he was president of Plaquemines Parish, said he is pleased that our recreational losses have not been forgotten.

“We have beautiful state parks in our coastal zone,” said Nungesser, “and I’m pleased to be in a position to oversee the improvements coming to Grand Isle State Park, Sam Houston Jones State Park, St. Bernard State Park, Bayou Segnette and Cypremort Point State Park. We are very thankful for this oil spill settlement funding in order to refurbish and maintain a number of our state parks – another example of our dedication to Louisiana’s great outdoors.”

The Governor’s Executive Assistant for Coastal Activities, Johnny Bradberry, represents Louisiana’s state agencies on the Trustee Implementation Group. He also chairs the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board.

“These projects comprise the full expenditure of the $60 million pot of money dedicated to addressing recreational use losses,” Bradberry said. “Other post-oil-spill money is, or will be, expended to redress a variety of environmental and economic damages. But I’m pleased our governor cares about all aspects of life in Louisiana, and understands the importance of joie de vivre.”

 

Click here for a complete list of the projects.

LEEC eNews: Student Scholarships, Climate Change Webinar, and More!

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LDWF Enforcement Division Recognized For Re-Accreditation Through NASBLA BOAT Program

Release Date: 07/10/2018

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division is being recognized for its achievement of re-accreditation with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ (NASBLA) Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program.  LDWF was the first law enforcement agency to receive this national accreditation in 2011. Since then the agency has been an exemplary role model for other agencies pursuing accreditation.

“The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries truly shares our mission for ensuring excellence in the training of our nation’s maritime first responders and readying them in the best way possible to ensure safety on our waterways,” says Dave Considine, NASBLA BOAT Program Director.  “We are excited to see that our first accredited agency continues to hold the bar high for other agencies to follow.”

LDWF’s instructor cadre has played an integral role, not only in the training of Louisiana’s maritime operators, but also as instructors for NASBLA’s direct delivery courses throughout the nation.  At the end of 2017, LDWF’s Enforcement Division had trained all of their agents in Boat Operations Search and Rescue (BOSAR), Boat Accident Investigations, and the Seated Battery of Field Sobriety Tests.

“We need all of our agents to be well-trained in all aspects of safe boating and search and rescue operations as those are two of our main missions,” said Col. Sammy Martin, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.  “We are proud of this re-accreditation as it shows our dedication to effective safe boating patrols and search and rescue operations in Louisiana.”

An additional 68 agents were trained in Boat Crew Member (BCM), 53 in Officer Water Survival, and 34 in the Tactical Operator Course discipline. LDWF has also trained an additional 73 officers in BCM and 8 officers in BOSAR from other marine law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

“The BOAT program and all of its many courses available provide our agents with the opportunity to train to a known standard,” said Major Rachel Zechenelly, Louisiana’s state’s boating law administrator.  “This accreditation also means our agency can provide the same training to our agents and other law enforcement agencies to ensure we are all on the same page.”

Through the BOAT Program Accreditation process, an agency, division, department or unit and its maritime training policies, procedures, curricula, qualification process and documentation are assessed to ensure alignment with the National Standard. This process and subsequent Accreditation ensures interoperability with marine units across the country in specific applicable competencies. By accrediting agencies and departments throughout the country, NASBLA’s BOAT Program creates more trainers and qualifies more officers than any other program in the nation, truly enhancing the safety and security of America’s waterways. Agencies accredited are required to go through a re-accreditation process every three years.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) is a national nonprofit association that represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. NASBLA’s Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program was established in 2009 through the efforts of multi-organization “Council of Partners,” to ensure the readiness of state, local, and federal law enforcement and emergency response boat crews throughout the country, and in order to conduct missions on our nation’s waterways safely and effectively. The BOAT Program is recognized as the national standard of training, typing and credentialing by the United States Coast Guard, and by the boating authorities of all 50 States and six territories. Learn more about the NASBLA BOAT Program at www.nasblsa.org/boat.

2019 Environmental Education Events

2019 Important Dates and Events

Feb. 2 - World Wetlands Day

Feb. 16 - LEEC Regional Short Courses

Feb. 27 - International Polar Bear Day

 

March 3 - World Wildlife Day

March 8 - Solar Appreciation Day

March 12 - Plant a Flower Day

March 15 - LEEC Grant Applications Due

March 18 - Global Recycling Day

March 20 - World Sparrow Day

March 21 - International Day of Forests

March 22 - World Water Day

 

April 1 - Fossil Fools Day

April 13 - Louisiana Envirothon

April 22 - Earth Day

April 26 - Arbor Day

 

May 11 - International Migratory Bird Day

May 17 - Bike to Work Day

May 17 - Endangered Species Day

May 22 - World Biodiversity Day (International Day for Biological Diversity)

May 23 - World Turtle Day

 

June 5 - World Environment Day

June 8 - World Oceans Day

June 16 - Global Wind Day

June 20 - American Eagle Day

June 21 - World Giraffe Day

July 29 - International Tiger Day

 

Aug. 10 - World Lion Day

Aug. 12 - World Elephant Day

Aug. 17 - National Honey Bee Day

Aug. 19 - World Orangutan Day (International Orangutan Day)

 

Sept. 5 - Amazon Day

Sept. 18 - World Water Monitoring Day

Sept. 21 - National CleanUp Day

Sept. 21 - Zero Emissions Day

Sept. 22 - World Car Free Day

Sept. 22 - World Rhino Day

Sept. 29 - World Rivers Day

 

Oct. 4 - World Animal Day

Oct. 5 - Energy Efficiency Day

Oct. 7 - Child Health Day

Oct. 7 - World Habitat Day

Oct. 23 - Sustainability Day

 

Nov. 15 - America Recycles Day

 

Dec. 5 - World Soil Day

 

Send suggestions for this calendar to tgresham@wlf.la.gov.

LEEC eNews: Art & Language Arts Reception, LATM/LSTA Call for Presenters, and More!

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New Iberia Father and Son Found Guilty in 2015 Killing of Louisiana Black Bear

Release Date: 06/28/2018

A New Iberia man and his juvenile son were found guilty in 16th Judicial District court in Iberia Parish for the 2015 killing of a Louisiana black bear near Weeks Island.

Judge Gregory Aucoin sentenced Elie Dupre, 60, of New Iberia, to pay $2,500 in civil restitution for delinquency of a juvenile for his role in his son’s illegal taking of a Louisiana black bear.

The juvenile son of Elie Dupre was found guilty for taking a bear during a closed season after he fatally shot a Louisiana black bear back in November of 2015.  Judge Aucoin sentenced the juvenile to serve 100 hours of community service, suspended his hunting privileges for one year, and ordered him to retake a hunter’s education course.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited Dupre and his son on June 23, 2017 for their roles in the illegal shooting of a Louisiana black bear.

The nine year old, 250 pound female black bear was part of a long term monitoring program and wore a tracking collar.  Over the eight years the bear wore the tracking collar it provided researchers with valuable information on black bear populations, productivity and population viability in the state of Louisiana.

Assistant District Attorney Angelique Narcisse prosecuted the case for the state.

July 2018, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 06/28/2018

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held at 9:30 AM on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA

 

 

The following items will be discussed:

 

1.    Call to Order

2.    Pledge of Allegiance

3.    Roll Call

4.    Adoption of June 7, 2018 Commission Meeting Minutes

5.    Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

6.    Enforcement Report June 2018 – Captain Edward Skena

7.    Receive an Update on the June 2018 Gulf Council Meeting – Patrick Banks, Assistant Secretary, Office of Fisheries

8.    Receive an Update on Recreational Red Snapper Landings and Consider Season Modification – Jason Adriance, Fisheries Biologist

9.    Receive and Consider a Presentation to Evaluate Submitted Proposals for Use of Statutory-Dedicated Funding for Waterfowl Breeding Grounds Habitat Work, With a Decision on an Award for Contract – Larry Reynolds, Wildlife Biologist

10. Set November 2018 Commission Meeting Date

11. Receive Public Comments

12. Adjournment

 

A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via Gotowebinar.com.  To attend this meeting via webinar visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7741109808066319362

 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

 

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.la.gov. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date. 

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