The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Louisiana Environmental Education Association hosted the 20th Environmental Education State Symposium on February 3-4, 2017 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Baton Rouge, La. The theme of this year’s symposium was “protecting Louisiana’s endangered species.”
The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (LEEC) provides environmental education news from across Louisiana, including information on environmental education programs, workshops, and grant opportunities. The state symposium furnished opportunities for formal and non-formal environmental educators from Louisiana and surrounding states to meet and share teaching techniques as well as multiple concurrent sessions for various topics and grade levels. Keynote speaker Dr. Jessica Kastler, Coordinator of Program Development at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory’s Marine Education Center, used individual cases of endangered species to engage the audience in explorations of the process of science while cultivating environmental stewardship. In addition to the keynote speech, presenters in 15 concurrent sessions provided lesson demonstrations, hands-on workshops, and/or exemplary programs. The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act Public Outreach Staff was among exhibitors with a multitude of materials to assist teachers of all grade levels in furthering their students’ knowledge in environmental education and coastal protection.
The month of May is declared as American Wetlands Month; a full month to encourage communities and individuals to become involved in the planning, protection, and restoration of our wetlands.
- What are wetlands?
Wetlands can be briefly summarized as frequently saturated, highly productive, vital ecosystems.
- What are some types of wetlands?
Various forms of wetlands include marshes, estuaries, mudflats, barrier islands, mires, ponds, fends, swamps, deltas, coral reefs, lagoons, shallow seas, bogs, lakes, and floodplains.
- Why are wetlands important?
Not only do wetlands act as a natural buffer for sediment entrapment and clean water, they also decrease storm impact, house an immense variety of species, and contribute a great deal of beneficial natural resources to America’s economy.
Dedicate some time during American Wetlands Month to learn about the advantages of wetlands and ways to protect yours!
With rising seasonal temperatures in climatic Louisiana, now is the time we begin to see the natural nourishment of wetland vegetation. The regrowth and flourishing of grasses and related plant life, as well as the warmth of the spring sun, awakens the surrounding ecosystem of coastal life. While beautiful in sight, wetland vegetation also holds grave importance to the protection of inland regions by decreasing storm surge impact, in addition to its sponge-like capability to soak up excess flood waters. Sustenance of these aquatic plants is crucial to the survival of not only wetland environments, but ultimately the survival of coastal Louisiana.
Follow CWPPRA on facebook and twitter to learn about volunteer opportunities for coastal vegetative planting.