BATON ROUGE, La. – On Tuesday May 7, 2013, the Coastal Builders association hosted the annual Coastal Day with the Legislators at the state Capitol building. The CWPPRA Outreach had a booth set up in the main rotunda. Since both the state House and Senate were in session, it was a great opportunity to educate many representatives from around the state about the devastating impacts of Louisiana’s land loss and the great efforts of the CWPPRA projects to prevent future land loss and restore much of the lost areas.
LAFAYETTE, La. – On Friday April 19, 2013, CWPPRA Outreach staff participated in Fête de la Terre at the University of Louisiana. The event is held annually to celebrate Earth Day and engage students in different topics related to sustainability. Cole Ruckstuhl, CWPPRA Media Specialist, and Josh Coen, CWPPRA Outreach Intern, spoke with students about CWPPRA’s importance in securing the culture and economy for future generations.
March 14, 2013
THIBODAUX, La. – Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, oral historians, photographer, painter, and members of the public joined together at the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in Thibodaux, LA last night to celebrate wetlands and lives unique to Louisiana. Opening the event and art show titled “I Remember…” was Parish President Charlotte Randolph.
With nearly 700 years of experience between the oral historians alone the tales, photos, and paintings communicated the story of living along a Louisiana’s fragile coastline. Oral historians recognized at the exhibit were:
- Davie Breaux, operations manager at Port Fourchon, who explained the need for coastal restoration and how a lifetime of wetland use goes far beyond a job.
- Cindy Cutrera who discussed how she and her family use the wetlands of Lake End Park near Morgan City for recreational purposes
- Buddy Daisy and Earl Melancon who teamed up to weave the tale of being an oysterman in Louisiana. This matchless interview provided an exclusive view of the oyster business.
- Brenda Dardar Robichaux, former Principal Chief of the United Houma Nations, gave a first-hand view of how the Native Americans of Louisiana are coping with the ever changing landscapes and the dire need for restoration.
- Marietta Smith-Greene, landowner, described how family and legislative acts such as the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) are making a difference in coastal restoration.
- Sue Laudeman, recently retired education curator of the Historic New Orleans Collection, recalled life as a girl in New Orleans and her relationship with the wetlands that surround the urban area.
- Kerry St. Pé, executive director of the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, examined the ongoing connection between man and nature and the delicate balances of conservationism.
- Sherrill Sagrera, farmer, landowner, and CWPPRA activist, illustrated his ongoing crusade to educate people about the dangers of letting Louisiana’s vanishing wetlands slip away.
- Eddie Sapia, a retired shrimper from Lafitte, delivered a first-hand account of wetland changes over his life.
- Yancey Welch, crabber, alligator hunter, and family man of southwest Louisiana, articulated his conflicts with gators and hurricanes while showing great respect for distinctive ecosystem that surrounds him.
The entire oral histories can be accessed online at the LaCoast.gov website link http://lacoast.gov/new/GetInvolved/OralHistory.aspx
According to Lt. Gov. Dardenne the exhibit is important because “I don’t think there’s any greater challenge we face as a state than to make sure that the culture and the communities on this coast have a future.”
Photographer Lane Lefort expressed that he has long wanted to tell the tale of the ordinary men and women who call Louisiana home. Spending years as a nature photographer, Lefort has met a host of local people who helped him find beautiful plants, animals, and habitats. In capturing wildlife, Lefort became acutely aware that humans’ interaction with nature should also be captured in photos. He noted that this art show reveals the story of the people of his home.
Artist Marian Brister Martinez noted that, “Change is inevitable but memories are a part of what shapes us. We all have them. It’s important to pass these memories along to our children and grandchildren so they can have a sense of place and belonging in our families.” The art show is an extraordinary way to capture this unique culture and time in Louisiana history.
The exhibit was created by the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act Task Force and Public Outreach Committee in an effort to develop beautiful still, digital, photograph portraits and in depth wetland related oral histories that record the unique culture and diversity of the peoples that live, work, and protect Louisiana. These portraits, photos, paintings, and oral histories are designed to engage the public in the value of defending and restoring delicate coastal habitats. The exhibit will remain open at 314 St. Mary Street, Thibodaux, LA through May 8, 2013. The public is invited to visit this free showing.
For more information contact Cole Ruckstuhl, CWPPRA Public Outreach Media Specialist, at (337) 266-8542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take a few minutes to watch and listen to these children and experts teach you about the dire need for continued coastal habitat restoration and the connection to urban estuaries. Please share the link to the video with friends and colleagues!
The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) Task Force is pleased to announce that they have produced a new video titled “Join CWPPRA- Make a Difference; Educate!” The short film highlights CWPPRA, the importance of wetland restoration education, and the new Urban Waters federal program. Children from the St. Benedict the Moor School in New Orleans, John Tubbs with the Department of Interior, Bill Honker from the Environmental Protection Agency, and Dinah Maygarden from the University of New Orleans join together to inspire people to learn more about Louisiana’s coastal ecosystems. During the film, fourth grade children remind the public to “do something good for the environment” and to become engaged by “plant(ing) plants in the marsh and help(ing) our community.” As evidenced by this film, the CWPPRA program believes that education is a fundamental part of environmental change.
Take a few minutes to watch and listen to these children and experts teach you about the dire need for continued coastal habitat restoration and the connection to urban estuaries. Watch the film on the CWPPRA website at http://lacoast.gov/new/Pubs/videos.aspx or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNXwZjR4Icc Please share the link to the video with friends and colleagues!
Special thanks to our video production team at WYES TV in New Orleans, LA and the students at St. Benedict the Moor School.
For additional information contact CWPPRA Public Outreach Coordinator, Susan Testroet-Bergeron, at BergeronS@usgs.gov or 337-266-8626.
The new Landmarks eNewsletter is now live. Check here regularly or subscribe to receive all of the latest posts. In the eNewsletter you will find short summaries about CWPPRA related current events and outreach activities. As we continue to develop, we hope to provide everyone with more access to information than ever before! We invite you to explore the eNewsletter and connect with us on our other social media platforms. Also, don’t forget to check out the great resources available on the LaCoast.gov website!
BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU LA Sea Grant College Program hosted the 2012 Ocean Commotion at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on the Louisiana State University campus yesterday. The event was very well attended and participates were able to “Touch the Wetlands” at the CWPPRA booth. Member’s of the CWPPRA Public Outreach staff encouraged children from grades 1-12 to use their senses to identify organisms found in Louisiana’s wetland. The day was filled with excitement and activity for all ages.
NEW ORLEANS – Yesterday, the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) Task Force decided to rescind its previous decision to close the West Bay Sediment Diversion (MR-03) in Plaquemines Parish and allow the diversion to remain open. In addition, the Task Force has committed to one more cycle of dredging of the Pilottown Anchorage Area for a cost of $15 million; all material dredged from this area will be used beneficially in the West Bay receiving area.
The goal of the West Bay Sediment Diversion is to restore vegetated wetlands in the area that is currently shallow open water. The project diverts water and sediment to create, nourish, and maintain approximately 9,000 acres of fresh to intermediate marsh in the West Bay area. The CWPPRA program will continue to monitor the wetland benefits of the project through the project life.
Speaking on behalf of the project, CWPPRA Task Force Chairman, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – New Orleans District Col. Edward Fleming said, “This dredging cycle will be beneficial as the CWPPRA program will use 100% of the material to create new land in the West Bay area.”
For additional information about the West Bay Sediment Diversion (MR-03) project visit the project fact sheet here.
Woodworth, La. – September 22, 2012 – The annual National Hunting and Fishing Day festivities were held at various locations in Louisiana, sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Members of the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) Public Outreach Committee attended the event held in Woodworth, La., approximately 10 miles south of Alexandria, La. The event was held from 9am – 2pm and included activities and contests highlighting different aspects of hunting and fishing in Louisiana. At the CWPPRA booth, audiences were educated on the Coastwide Nutria Control Program (LA-03b) and the necessity to eradicate nutria from wetland habitats. Children of all ages enjoyed trying their luck in the Nutria Shootout game. The day was full of family fun and celebration of Louisiana as a sportsman’s paradise.