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Three Men Arrested for Oyster Violations in St. Bernard Parish

Release Date: 04/15/2019

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Agent along with St. Bernard Deputies arrested three men for alleged commercial fishing violations on April 9 in St. Bernard Parish.

An LDWF agent, with assistance from the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office, arrested Raymond Nehlig Jr ,35, of Violet, Kenneth Marrero, 42, of St. Bernard, and Brandon Perez, 32, of Meraux, for unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease and failing to have written permission.  Nehlig Jr was also cited for operating a vessel while under license suspension and taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license.  Perez was also cited for resisting an officer and flight from an officer.

An LDWF agent was on patrol south of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet channel when he observed a vessel actively dredging for oysters in Lake Coquille around 1 p.m. on April 9.  The agent made contact with the subjects on the vessel and determined they were dredging on a lease without permission.

As the agent was following the vessel back for arrest and booking purposes, Perez  jumped from the vessel and swam towards the marsh near Hopedale Bayou.  The agent with St. Bernard Parish deputies were able to apprehend Perez.

All three men were booked into the St. Bernard Parish Jail.

Unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease and failing to have written permission both carry up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to have a gear license brings up to a $500 and 90 days in jail.  Operating under license suspension carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail.  Resisting an officer and flight from an officer each carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail for each offense.

The men could also face having their oyster harvester license revoked by LDWF for up to one year. Violators can be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only harvest oysters from a vessel equipped with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.

Terrebonne Parish Man Cited for Oyster Violations in Sister Lake

Release Date: 04/15/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Houma man for alleged oyster fishing violations on April 15 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents cited Jonah Dehart, 39, for oyster fishing without a commercial fishing license, taking commercial fish without a gear license, taking oysters without an oyster harvester license, violating log book requirements, operating a vessel with improper running lights, taking oysters during a closed season on the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation, harvesting oysters during illegal hours and using an illegal dredge.

Agents were patrolling the Sister Lake Seed Reservation when they observed Dehart activing dredging for oysters with no running lights around 4:15 a.m. on April 15.  Agents stopped the vessel and found Dehart in possession of five sacks of freshly taken oysters.

Agents also found that Dehart was fishing for oysters without the proper licenses and with an illegal dredge.

The Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation is closed for the entire 2018-19 oyster season.

The agents seized the dredge and returned the oysters to the seed ground.  Agents also seized the vessel on a department seizure order.

Taking oysters during a closed season brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  Taking oysters during illegal hours and without an oyster harvester license each carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Not possessing a commercial fishing license and a commercial gear license each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Using an illegal dredge carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Operating a vessel at night without running lights brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

LEEC eNews: NAAE Conference Scholarship, Coastal Fellowship Program and More!


Louisiana Coastal Fellowship

The LEEC is seeking applicants for its 2019 Louisiana Coastal Fellowship program. This project, sponsored by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, begins with four 2-day workshops in the summer of 2019, followed by development and implementation of environmental science phenomena to be used in the classroom and shared with Louisiana teachers on a statewide database.

Apply at

Program Details

· Available for 20 7th - 12th grade teachers in the Greater New Orleans Area

· 4 coastal-themed workshops

· Participants develop environmental science phenomena for official LSSS database available to all Louisiana teachers


· Coastal Restoration -  Baton Rouge, June 3-4

· Marine Debris - Grand Isle, June 18-19

· Water Quality - Cocodrie, July 1-2

· Invasive Species, New Orleans, July 18-19

Fellows Will Receive

· 64 hours of professional development

· Minimum of 20 hours in outdoor settings

· $1,500 stipend plus water testing supplies valued at $300

· Meals and lodging

· Support to develop and implement coastal and wetland phenomena in your classroom

This program is conducted by the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission with cooperation from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Louisiana Department of Education, LSU Gordon A. Cain Center for STEM Literacy, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Ripple Effect, and the University of New Orleans.

Art and Language Arts Contest

There are still a week left before the April 19, 2019 deadline for the Student Environmental Awareness Art and Language Arts contest. Students can win a cash prize of up to $200 and have their work featured in our annual calendar. Find out more at

Conference Scholarship

NAAEE Conference Scholarship

To help ensure broad participation at its Annual Conference, NAAEE offers a limited number of Affordability Scholarships to professional environmental educators. Affordability scholarships support those with limited resources who may not be able to attend the conference without assistance. These scholarships are intended to help diversify participation in the conference and ensure inclusivity in our community.
Environmental education professionals, K–12 classroom teachers and administrators, and college/university faculty working full time in environmental education or a closely related field can apply. The scholarship provides a 50% discount on full or one-day conference and/or Research Symposium registration.
If needed, recipients must be willing to volunteer for one two-hour shift during the conference, assisting with such tasks as working at the registration or information desk, acting as a room monitor, or assisting with special events.
The deadline for scholarship applications is June 17, 2019.  Applicants will be notified by July 30. See

Employment Opportunity

BREC Seeking Camp Counselors and Directors

Baton Rouge area educators can visit to see what opportunities are available for summer employment.

Among the jobs listed is the Director position for Nature Explorers Summer Camp. From BREC's recruitment site: "Nature Explorers is a hands-on engaging camp that introduces campers to local habitats, flora and fauna and sampling techniques.  This is not an overnight camp but we do take campers on field trips to parks and natural areas around Louisiana at least two days a week.  Knowledge of biology or basic ecology is prefferred."  


Grand Isle Migratory Bird Festival

April 12-14 Visit for more information.


Support the LEEC by purchasing an Environmental Education specialty plate at



18 Subjects Cited for Turkey Hunting Violations During Opening Weekend

Release Date: 04/09/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement agents cited 18 people for alleged turkey hunting violations during the opening weekend of the 2019 turkey hunting season.  Turkey season opened on April 6 in all three turkey hunting areas.

On April 6 agents cited:

Whitney C. Green, 33, of Benton, for hunting turkey over a baited area, contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations in Bossier Parish.

Henry Robin Jr., 55, of Homer, for hunting turkey over a baited area in Claiborne Parish.

Jacob White, 24, of Minden, for failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations in Webster Parish.

Karson Randle, 19, of Minden, for taking over the limit of turkey and failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations in Webster Parish.

Billy J. Bass, 72, of Jonesville, for hunting turkey over a baited area in Catahoula Parish.

Harry M. Herman, 65, of Harrisonburg, for hunting turkey over a baited area in Catahoula Parish.

Cecil D. Gorman, 54, of West Monroe, for hunting turkey over a baited area in Ouachita Parish.

Thomas J. Freeman, 44, of West Monroe, for hunting turkey over a baited area in Caldwell Parish.

Trevor J. Freeman, 17, of West Monroe, for hunting turkey over a baited area and hunting turkey without a turkey hunting license in Caldwell Parish.

Jerry J. Poche, 70, of Ama, for hunting turkey over a baited area in St. Helena Parish.

Michael A. Buccola, of Ponchatoula, for hunting turkey over a baited area in St. Helena Parish.

Ryan Lemonte, 34, of Slaughter, for hunting turkey over a baited area and hunting with an unplugged gun in West Feliciana Parish.

John Keyes, 72, of St. Joseph, for hunting turkey over a baited area in West Feliciana Parish.

Charles J. Fairchild Jr., 68, of Gonzales, for hunting turkey over a baited area in West Feliciana Parish.

Dwight D. Busby, 61 of Lake Charles, for hunting turkey over a baited area in Beauregard Parish.

On April 7 agents cited:

Richard Hurst, 54, of Clinton, for hunting turkey over a baited area in East Feliciana Parish.

Richard Hurst Jr., 17, of Clinton, for hunting turkey over a baited area in East Feliciana Parish.

Garland Meredith, 69, of Eros, hunting turkey over a baited area in Caldwell Parish.

According to the 2019 Turkey Regulations, no person shall hunt or take turkeys by the aid of baiting or on or over a baited area.  Hunters are not allowed to place, expose, deposit or scatter corn, wheat or other grain, salt or other feed to lure turkeys to their hunting area.

Also, turkey hunters are required to possess Louisiana basic hunting and big game licenses, Louisiana wild turkey license and turkey tags.

Hunting turkeys over a baited area, hunting with an unplugged gun and taking over the limit of turkeys each brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to comply with turkey tagging regulations carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.  Not possessing a basic hunting license, big game license and wild turkey license each brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

LEEC eNews: LEEC Coastal Fellowship Program, Volunteer Opportunity in Baton Rouge, and More!


The Louisiana Coastal Fellowship Program

The Louisiana Coastal Fellowship Program, open to 7th – 12th grade teachers from the Greater New Orleans Area*, will inform participants about Louisiana’s coastal and wetland issues and how to develop related science phenomena for the classroom. Participants will also learn how to perform field experiences and build-out phenomena into instructional sequences for students.
The fellowship includes four workshops during the summer of 2019 where teachers will be exposed to Louisiana’s unique coastal and wetlands issues utilizing current data and hands-on scientific techniques. Learning experiences will focus on investigating coastal land loss and restoration, marine debris and microplastics, water quality, and invasive species.
Teachers will use information and data gained in workshops to develop phenomena based on Louisiana Students Standards for Science for their classrooms. Phenomena development and classroom implementation will be supported through a mentoring and evaluation program that includes fellows along with pedagogical and content experts working together to ensure exemplary programming for your classroom. Finalized phenomena and resources will be published on the Louisiana Science Phenomena Website. The resources on the website will serve as a foundation for instructional sequences in coastal and wetland issues for all of Louisiana’s educators.
* The Greater New Orleans Area includes Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, and Washington parishes.
Workshop Details
1st Workshop, Baton Rouge – June 3rd – 4th. 
2nd Workshop, Grand Isle – June 18th – 19th
3rd Workshop, Cocodrie – July 1st - 2nd
4th Workshop, New Orleans – July 18th – 19th
For more information, contact Thomas Gresham at

Environmental News

Queen Bess Island Restoration Project Greenlighted

Funding has been approved to restore Queen Bess Island, a major breeding ground for the state bird the brown pelican, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and the Louisiana Coastal Protect and Restoration Authority (CPRA) announced March 29.
The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group (LA TIG) approved funding for the project that will restore 30 acres of brown pelican and wading bird habitat and seven acres of nesting tern habitat to the 37-acre island near Grand Isle in Jefferson Parish.
The funding comes from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damages (NRD) settlement administered by the LA TIG. The project will begin in early fall 2019 and should be completed by the middle of February 2020.
Queen Bess is the third largest brown pelican rookery in Louisiana, producing 15-20 percent of the state’s nesting activity. It is also nesting habitat for about 10 species of nesting colonial water birds, such as tri-colored herons, great egrets and royal terns. The island, which is battling land loss from subsidence and erosion from over wash, currently has about only five acres of nesting habitat available.

Volunteer Opportunity

Baton Rouge Cleanup

If you're looking for a volunteer opportunity in the Baton Rouge area, The Walls Project's Reactivate Program is looking for help cleaning up the Winbourne Avenue and Plank Road area. Volunteers can meet at Howell Park any day from April 24-27 at 9 a.m. 


Want to Reduce Stress During Standardized Tests?

The National Environmental Education Foundation's number one recommendation for reducing students' stress during test time is going outside!  "Arranging an outside lunch or a 10-minute walk for your classroom can make all the difference when it comes to dealing with test anxiety," says this article on the NEEF website. It continues, "Allowing students to spend more time outside can actually help boost test scores and help students perform better. If you don’t have access to the outdoors, displaying outdoor images on a TV or computer monitor serves as a good replacement."
If you'd like to read more, visit


Support the LEEC by purchasing an Environmental Education specialty plate at



Boating Education Lagniappe Day Slated for April 27

Release Date: 04/03/2019

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be hosting the ninth annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on April 27 at eight different locations across the state.

During Boating Education Lagniappe Day, LDWF will provide instructors for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, NASBLA boating education certification, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

LDWF urges the public to register quickly as most places have limited spaces available and registration is on a first come first serve basis.  To register please visit and follow the links to register for one of the eight April 27 classes listed below.

Anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification.

Below is the list of lagniappe class locations:

Webster Parish
LDWF Region 1 Office
9961 Hwy. 80
Minden, LA 71055
Sponsors include Coca-Cola of Minden, Red River Waterway Commission, Bass Pro Shop of Bossier City, and the Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Ouachita Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292
Sponsors include Academy Sports and Outdoors and Johnny’s Pizza House.

Rapides Parish
Woodworth Education Center
661 Robinson Bridge Rd.
Woodworth, LA 71485
Sponsors include the Louisiana Wildlife Agent’s Association (LWAA)

Lafayette Parish
LDWF Lafayette Office
200 Dulles Rd.
Lafayette, LA 70506
Sponsors include Deano’s Pizza of Lafayette

Beauregard Parish
Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office Training Center
412 Boliver Bishop Dr.
Deridder, LA 70634
Sponsors include Beauregard Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited and Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office

Lafourche Parish
St. John Volunteer Fire Department
2072 St. Mary St.
Thibodaux, LA 70301
Sponsors include Renovations Hardware of Galliano and LWAA

Tangipahoa Parish
Manchac Fire Department
30221 Hwy. 51
Akers, LA 70421
Sponsors include the Manchac Fire Department

St. Tammany Parish
St. Tammany Parish Recreation District #7
67835 Hwy. 41
Pearl River, LA 70452
Sponsors include the St. Tammany Parish Recreations District #7

LEEC eNews Bulletin: 2019 LEEC Grants Program Finalists Announced

The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission is pleased to announce the 2019 LEEC Grants Program finalists. We are looking forward to seeing the positive effects these worthy projects have in their schools and communities.
Thanks to all of our applicants and congratulations, finalists!
For questions, contact Thomas Gresham at

2019 LEEC Grants Program FINALISTS

First Name

Last Name

School / Organization

Project Title

Number Impacted

 Funding Potential




St. Thomas More Catholic High School

Climate Studies through Weather Monitoring






George Washington Carver High School






Lusher Charter School

Storm Water Reduction






Community Foundation of North Louisiana

Watershed to the Red Environmental Education Professional Development Workshop





Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary Foundation

Talking Trash to Teachers: Standard aligned, Inquiry Based Lesson Plans on Marine Debris






Tulane University

The effects of parental investment & territory establishment on chick survival in Wilson's plovers





Tulane University

The effect of hypoxia duration & severity on overall & reproductive health of GOMEX groundfish





Louisiana State University

Restorationof Phragmites dieback in the lower Mississippi River Delta & the multifactorail causes





Louisiana State University

Eco-evolutionary dispersal-competition-fecundity tradeoffs at the core & the edge of a shifting range





Louisiana State University

Assembly of low-diversity plant communities within hyperdiverse longleaf pine savannas





Tulane University

Adaptive Plasticity in Spartina alterniflora Reproductive Traits





Louisiana State University

The capacity to adapt to changing salinity conditions in the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica





Tulane University

Shorebird Migration on the Gulf of Mexico, Linking Wetlands Across America





Tulane University

Investigating the Effect of Temperature on Disease Dynamics within a Winter-breeding Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) Popul




LEEC eNews: Student Video Contest, NFWF Tackles Derelict Fishing Gear, and More!


Student Art & Language Arts Contest

Have you got a little LEAP downtime? Have your students enter the 2019 LEEC Student Environmental Awareness Art and Language Arts Contest. This year, our theme is "Taking Environmental Action: What's Great About Your Part of the State?" We encourage students to investigate environmental efforts specific to their hometown, parish or region of the state.
The deadline for the contest is Friday, April 19, 2019. See official rules at the official registration form.

Environmental News

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is pleased to announce on behalf of Fishing for Energy partners Covanta Energy Corporation and NOAA’s Marine Debris Program (NOAA), the availability of up to $1,000,000 in grant funding to support derelict fishing gear removal efforts and innovation in gear technology. The range of awards will fall between $30,000-$300,000.
Grants will target areas in U.S. coastal waters with a priority for areas that have been identified and prioritized for derelict fishing gear prevention, reduction, and gear technology innovation in state or regional plans, such as state marine debris action plans or as part of species or habitat conservation plans. 
See for a full version of the RFP, which includes specific priorities, eligibility requirements and application instructions. 

Student Opportunity

Clean Air Video Contest

The Greater New Orleans Clean Air Coalition is hosting an air quality awareness video contest for high school students in CMAQ-eligible parishes (Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, and St. Charles). The 2019 theme is "Ground-Level Ozone Prevention." The submission deadline is Friday, May 3, 2019 by 5 p.m. Central.
See for rules and eligibility.


Audubon Nature Institute Music Under the Oaks

Bring your lawn chairs and join us for a special concert series to celebrate the Audubon Park Conservancy presented by Bellwether Technology. Food and drink will be available to purchase. Contributions to the Conservancy directly support the annual care and improvements of Audubon Park, including ongoing needs such as lawn care, seasonal flower planting, and the protection of historic live oak trees.
This series of free events will be held at the Newman Bandstand at Audubon Park from 5-6:30 p.m. See dates and performers below.
Spring 2019 Dates
Sunday, March 31 - Loyola Jazz Ensemble
Sunday, April 7 - LPO String Quartet
Sunday, April 14 - New Orleans Concert Band
See all upcoming Audubon Nature Institute events at


Support the LEEC by purchasing an Environmental Education specialty plate at



Body of Opelousas Man Recovered from Lake Dubuisson

Release Date: 03/28/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident that occurred in St. Landry Parish on March 26.

LDWF agents recovered the body of Wilma E. Robertson Jr., 59, of Opelousas, from Lake Duboisson following a fatal boating incident.

Agents received information about a boater that entered the water in Lake Duboisson and never resurfaced around 1 p.m. on March 26.  LDWF agents along with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and recovered the body of Robertson Jr. around 2 p.m. within close proximity of his vessel.

According to an eye witness, Robertson was attempting to load his 14 foot aluminum vessel onto his trailer when his vessel began taking on water.  Robertson then entered the water without a personal flotation device on his body and never resurfaced.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.

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