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Authorities Searching for Missing Baton Rouge Couple

Release Date: 12/28/2011

Search and rescue personnel with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office are currently searching for a Baton Rouge couple in St. Tammany Parish following a boating incident.

LDWF Enforcement Division agents were notified by a passing boater around 10 a.m. this morning, Dec. 28, about a capsized boat that was found on the Bogue Chitto River in the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).  The boat belongs to William Holloway, 63, and his wife Kathy, 61.

According to a relative, the Holloways last contact was around 3 p.m. on Dec. 27.  The Holloways were camping on the Bogue Chitto NWR and still have their vehicle parked at the Lock No. 3 boat launch on the Pearl River Navigational Canal off of Lock No. 3 Road.  The Holloways also still have possessions at their campsite.

The 14-foot aluminum flat bottom boat was found about a mile from the boat launch.  LDWF has retrieved the boat and is investigating the cause of this boating incident.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or

Second Group of Whooping Cranes Released at White Lake WCA

Release Date: 12/27/2011

LDWF biologist opens holding pen at White Lake WCA to release 16 juvenile whooping cranes into the marsh Dec. 27.
Single juvenile whooping crane explores the marsh at White Lake WCA Dec. 27, following its release.
Whooping crane in flight over marsh at White Lake WCA following the release of 16 juvenile cranes Dec. 27.

Dec. 27, 2011 – Sixteen juvenile whooping cranes were released into the wild today at White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) in Gueydan. The juvenile cranes join three adults that were released in March as part of an experimental population being monitored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).
The cranes were delivered to southwest Louisiana on Dec. 1 from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, MD. LDWF is working cooperatively with U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), USGS, and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit to establish a non-migratory population in the state.

The whooping crane is protected under the federal Endangered Species and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts and by state law. Anyone encountering a whooping crane is advised to observe the bird from a distance.
Whooping cranes are large-bodied, white birds similar to white ibis, white pelicans, and wood storks, all of which must be distinguished from legally-hunted snow geese.  However, a red head and black facial markings along with a height of five feet and a wingspan of 7-8 feet make them very distinctive.  In flight, whooping cranes display black wing tips and fully extended neck and legs, which extend well beyond the tail.
Juvenile whooping cranes are primarily white with some cinnamon-brown feathers remaining on their body, primarily on their head and neck. Their wing tips are black like an adult, but they lack the red head.
Anyone witnessing suspicious activity involving whooping cranes is advised to report that information to LDWF’s Enforcement Division by calling 1-800-442-2511 or using the tip411 program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions. To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge.  CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.
For more information on the re-introduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana, please visit, or contact Sara Zimorski at or Bo Boehringer at  or 225-765-5115. For photos, video footage and research documentation please visit:

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at or on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Father and Son Rescued After Boat Capsizes

Release Date: 12/27/2011

Rescue personnel from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division, St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Office (SMSO) and the U.S. Coast Guard assisted in rescuing a father and son from Duck Lake in St. Martin Parish this morning, Dec. 27.

Russ Tircuit, 58, and his son Michael Tircuit, 25, both of Addis were rescued from the water about 8:35 a.m. by SMSO deputies and transported to the Franklin Foundation Hospital for hypothermia treatment.

Rescue personnel received a 911 call around 8 a.m. from Michael Tircuit that he was able to place on his cell phone.  Michael told the rescuers where they were and that they were clinging to the bow of their capsized boat.

According to Michael, he and his father were duck hunting and got into their 16 foot aluminum boat to retrieve a duck that was floating away.  The boat struck an object in the water, which caused the boat to take a violent right turn ejecting him and his father into the water.

According to Michael, his father was wearing a kill switch, which cut off the boat’s 90 horsepower motor.  When the boat came to a stop they were able to swim back to the floating capsized boat and hang on until rescuers were on sight.

“If the father was not wearing a kill switch, then this incident could have been a tragedy.  We have seen boating incidents similar to this one that turned fatal because the operator was not wearing a kill switch and the runaway boat hit ejected people in the water,” said Col. Winton Vidrine, LDWF’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer.

The LDWF Enforcement Division will conduct a boating investigation to determine the cause of the incident.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or

Black Bear Found Dead in Pointe Coupee Parish

Release Date: 12/22/2011


Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are seeking leads for an illegally killed black bear that was found floating in the Mississippi River in Pointe Coupee Parish.

Hunters in the area reported the bear to LDWF on Sunday, Dec. 11 near the old ferry landing.  LDWF performed a necropsy on the bear at the recovery scene, which revealed the bear was shot multiple times and then probably disposed of into the river.  LDWF is estimating that the bear was shot either a day or two before being reported.

"The bear was a lactating female meaning this action has left orphan cubs out there somewhere that will now also die as a result of this unfortunate shooting," said Maria Davidson, LDWF's Large Carnivore Program Manager.  "Losing this mother bear and most likely her cubs is a serious setback for our plans to make the Louisiana black bear a sustainable game animal in the near future."

When LDWF officials went back to retrieve the bear they found the bear had been decapitated by someone since the last visit to the scene.  LDWF is warning the public that being found in possession of parts of a Louisiana black bear is against the law.

Anyone with information regarding this illegal bear killing or the whereabouts of the missing black bear head should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF's tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 program are monitored 24 hours a day.  Cash rewards up to $5,000 are offered for information leading to the apprehension of individuals harming a black bear.  Tipsters can also remain anonymous.

"We have solved cases like this in the past with the public's help and we are again asking for any leads that might guide us in the right direction" said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.  "

This bear has no reported nuisance history and by all accounts was a healthy adult female Louisiana black bear.

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.  Violators are subject to penalties of up to $50,000 and six months in jail.  In addition, a civil restitution fine of $10,000 for the bear may be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear in Louisiana.

With the number of bear and hunter interactions on the rise within the last couple of years, LDWF encourages hunters to carry bear spray and know a few simple rules.  If possible, a hunter encountering a bear should back away and proceed in another direction.  If a bear approaches, you should raise your arms over your head to appear larger and speak in a normal tone of voice to let the bear know you are there.  If the bear continues to approach, wave your arms and yell at the bear.  At this point a hunter could use bear spray to deter the bear's approach.

Hunters should also be aware that baiting deer with corn artificially concentrates bears near deer stands.  It is recommended that hunters either refrain from using corn for bait or use soybeans to reduce bear feeding activity.  Bear encounters can be reported to 1-800-442-2511.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or

New Iberia Man Sentenced for Taking Louisiana Black Bear

Release Date: 12/22/2011


A New Iberia man was sentenced in Federal Western District Court in Lafayette on Dec. 21 for illegally killing a Louisiana black bear.

Federal Judge Patrick J. Hanna sentenced Cory R. Ronsonet, 39, to three years of supervised probation, three years of no hunting privileges, a $3,000 fine and 300 hours of community service.  If the fine is paid and community service completed within six weeks, then the probation will be reduced to unsupervised.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents initiated the investigation during the 2008-09 hunting season after receiving a public tip that a black bear had been shot then skinned and stored in a fashion to mount it in the future.  Agents then found a black bear skin and its decapitated head on May 19, 2011 off of Daniel Lane near a subdivision in New Iberia.

During the investigation, Ronsonet admitted to LDWF Enforcement Division agents on May 31, 2011 of taking the black bear in question.  Ronsonet pleaded guilty for violating the federal endangered species act for illegally taking a black bear in Federal Western District Court in Lafayette on Aug. 17.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joe Mickel and Howard Parker prosecuted the case.  LDWF Senior Agent David Boudreaux was the lead investigator on the case and was assisted by Sgts. James Rhodes, Mitch Darby, Brian Theriot and Senior Agent Jason Romero.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Phillip Siragusa also assisted with the investigation.

The bear had been a part of LDWF's black bear program and was first tagged in 2000 when it was estimated to be six years old.  The passive integrated transponder implanted during the initial capture was left in the hide when the bear was skinned and provided positive identification.  LDWF had never received a nuisance call about this older male bear that lived mostly in the Weeks Island area of lower Iberia Parish.

The Louisiana black bear has been listed on the Federal Threatened and Endangered Species List since 1992.  Citizens are reminded that killing a Louisiana black bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or

WEEKLY eNEWS: Events, Education Opportunities, Grants, Contests/Awards, Resources

A Compilation of Environmental Education News from Across Louisiana


National Green Week (February 6-10, 2012)
National Green Week (NGW) empowers students to be leaders of their own sustainability campaigns. NGW kicks off February 6-10, 2012, and educators can choose any week between February 6 and Earth Day (April 22) to participate. Learn more

National Environmental Education Week (April 15-21, 2012)
The 2012 National Environmental Education Week’s theme will be Greening STEM: The Environment as Inspiration for 21st Century Learning
The environment is a compelling context for teaching STEM as it provides teachers with a diverse range of real-world challenges that engage students in hands-on opportunities to apply and reinforce STEM concepts across multiple subject areas.  To support this year's theme, EE Week will offer all registered participants:
     • Free EE Week planning toolkits with information and grade-appropriate activities that incorporate STEM learning into popular environmental topic areas, such as school gardens, energy conservation and weather.
     • A free educator webinar on using the environment as a context for teaching STEM, with school-based project ideas and opportunities for Q&A with experts.
     • Discounts, giveaways and special offers from EE Week partners.
Learn more about EE Week and register your school or organization to be a 2012 NEEW partner today.


UWSP Spring 2012 Courses in Environmental Education
The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point will be offering four online courses in environmental education and natural resources from January 26 through May 4. Scholarships are offered for several of the courses. Learn more


Captain Planet Foundation Grants (Deadline: January 15)
The Captain Planet Foundation funds projects that engage students in active, hands-on activities that improve the environment in their schools and communities. Learn more  

2012 Wildlife Conservation Youth Engagement Grants (Deadline: February 1)
Planet Connect, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency, invites high school students to develop an idea for a project that addresses a local wildlife or natural resources issue in their community. Students chosen as winners will win $500 to implement their project as well as a $500 stipend toward an 80-hour wildlife conservation or natural resource internship in their community. Learn more


2011 President's Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) (Deadline: December 31)
The PEYA program promotes awareness of our nation’s natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. One outstanding project from our region (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX) will be selected for recognition. Projects are developed by young individuals, school classes (K-12), summer camps, and youth organizations to promote environmental stewardship. For more information and application, visit: Applications can be emailed to Bonnie King 6XA at or mailed to: USEPA, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX 75202-2733 Attention:  Bonnie King 6XA. Application and postmark deadline is December 31, 2011.

Climate Stewards Education Project - Class of 2012 (Deadline: January 13)
NOAA manages an exciting national education initiative for formal and informal educators - the Climate Stewards Education Project (CSEP). The goals of this project are to provide educators with sustained professional development, collaborative tools, and support to build a climate-literate public that is actively engaged in climate stewardship activities. They are seeking 40 new educators to join the CSEP community in 2012. Please see the attached Project Invitation Letter and Application Agreement for more information. Application Agreements should be completed and emailed to:  by January 13, 2012. Applicants will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis. Applicants accepted into the program will be notified in early February.

Eco-Hero Awards (Deadline: January 15)
Action For Nature (AFN), a non-profit organization, honors the creative environmental projects of young people between the ages of 8 and 16. Winners receive cash prizes and a special certificate, as well as public recognition on the Action for Nature website. Learn more 

Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education; Request for Nominations of Candidates for the National Environmental Education Advisory Council (Deadline: January 15)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education Staff Office is soliciting applications for environmental education professionals for consideration on the National Environmental Education Advisory Council (NEEAC). There are eleven vacancies on the Advisory Council that must be filled. Applications should be submitted by January 15, 2012. Learn more

The Volvo Adventure Competition (Deadline: January 31)
The Volvo Adventure is an education program that awards teams of 2-5 students aged 13-16 for an environmental project in their community. Finalists win an all expenses paid trip to Sweden where they compete for cash prizes. Learn more  


CRCL Announces New Mississippi River Delta Website
The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Environmental Defense Fund, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, National Audubon Society, and National Wildlife Federation announce the recent launch of, a new site focused on restoring the Mississippi River Delta. This site houses scientific information, public policy analysis, cultural and historical summaries, and Delta Dispatches, a news blog about restoration efforts in the delta.

NSF Offers Online Climate Change Resources
Earth science teachers and students often examine the connections between two related topics: energy and climate. For those wishing to take a closer look at climate change, the National Science Foundation (NSF) offers a useful web site. Click here to find an NSF report summarizing the current state of knowledge about climate change. The succinct format is enhanced with slideshows and videos.

Project Noah
Project Noah is an online and mobile location-based application that encourages people to reconnect with nature by documenting local wildlife. The tool harnesses the power and popularity of smart phones to collect important ecological data and help preserve global biodiversity. Learn more from Project WET is a free online resource for students and teachers about water and water related topics. Learn more

Tips from to help save on heating and energy over the winter months:
     • Teach kids (Cool Energy Games at this site!) about how becoming energy-efficient can help save our world
     •  Prepare an Energy Strategy for the Future
     • Establish a comprehensive energy management program using ENERGY STAR's Guidelines for Energy Management and read the Energy Design Guidance for New Buildings 
     • Join ENERGY STAR
     • Evaluate your school's energy performance with Portfolio Manager
     • Learn about financing your energy projects 
     • Visit EPA's Indoor Air Quality for Schools Website and download Energy Efficiency and Indoor Air Quality in Schools
     • Receive training through Online Training Sessions
     • Purchase ENERGY STAR qualified products to save energy throughout your building

Find out about wetland outreach activities including symposiums, conferences, meetings, educational opportunities, volunteer opportunities, and related support material at the Louisiana Unified Coastal Community Calendar at

Venise Ortego, Environmental Education Coordinator, 337-948-0255,
Juliet Raffray, Environmental Education Assistant Coordinator, 225-765-0124,
Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries –

Five Louisiana Subjects Cited for Duck Hunting Violations

Release Date: 12/20/2011


Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division Agents cited five Slidell residents on Dec. 17 for alleged migratory game bird violations in Orleans Parish.

Agents cited David Marshall, 55, Charles Efferson, 49, Michael Landry, 42, Robert Landry, 52, and a juvenile for hunting over bait.  Agents also cited Robert Landry for an unplugged gun, Michael Landry for hunting with lead shot and the juvenile for over limit of scaup.

Agents were given an anonymous tip through the new tip411 smart phone application of possible illegal hunting activity in the Lake Catherine area.  Agents conducted an investigation into the complaint and found several baited ponds.  Agents seized 36 ducks from the subjects.

The state penalties for hunting migratory game birds over bait, hunting with an unplugged gun, use of lead shot and possessing over the limit of scaup brings fines between $400 and $950, or up to 120 days in jail and forfeiture of anything seized for each offense.  The subjects could each owe the state $956 in civil restitution for the illegally taken game.

LDWF launched the tip411 program at the end of September as a part of their Operation Game Thief program, which may offer a cash reward for information leading to arrests or convictions.

To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge.   CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.

Citizens can also call Operation Game Thief's Hotline at 1-800-442-2511.  The hotline and the tip411 program are monitored 24 hours a day.

Investigating Agents were Sgts. Kris Bourgeois and Todd Laviolette, Senior Agents Doug Danna and Austin Arteaga, and Agents Mike Williams and Jared Taylor.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or

Agents Cite Two Louisiana Residents for Insurance Fraud

Release Date: 12/20/2011


Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited two Slidell residents on Dec. 15 for alleged insurance fraud charges.

Agents cited Robert F. Angle, 78, and Joyce G. Angle, 77, for theft by insurance fraud, filing false public documents and injuring public records.

LDWF agents and National Insurance Crime Bureau investigators started a joint investigation involving a boat that was claimed as lost by the Angle's following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  The boat in question was recently found registered in Florida and was seized by detectives in Lee County Florida.

The Angle's each face up to 10 years in jail and up to $3,000 in fines for theft by insurance fraud.  Injuring and filing false public records each bring a fine up to $5,000 and up to five years in jail.

LDWF agents Sgt. Todd Laviolette and Senior Agent Doug Danna were involved in the case.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or

Louisiana Environmental Education Symposium - Proposals are now being accepted for Presenters and Exhibitors!

Proposals are now being accepted for Presenters and Exhibitors!

Join us for the 2012 Environmental Education Symposium in Lafayette, Louisiana on March 9-10, 2012!


Exhibitors: If your organization offers environmental resources for educators, this symposium would provide an excellent opportunity for you to display and distribute these materials to the individuals who can best utilize them – teachers and informal educators! Our Exhibit Hall will feature environmental education resources for educators, such as curriculum guides, lesson plans, CD ROMs, videos, field trip information and other opportunities that can enrich the classroom experience. Our educators would greatly appreciate your resources and the opportunity to speak to you, the experts!

Presenters: Do you have a new, dynamic lesson, activity, or program that you would like to share with fellow formal and informal environmental educators? Consider presenting at the 2012 EE Symposium! Emphasis this year will be placed on engaging teachers and students in outdoor learning experiences … so what can you add to the conversation?!
Classroom teachers are encouraged to submit proposals! Your counterparts are anxious to see what you are doing in the classroom so do them a favor and share your knowledge!

All Symposium registration, exhibitor, and presenter forms and related information can be found on our website at For more information: Venise Ortego, EE Coordinator, 337-948-0255,,


WEEKLY eNEWS: LEEC EE Symposium! Plus, Educational Opportunities, Seminars, Contests/Awards, Resources

A Compilation of Environmental Education News from Across Louisiana 

On March 9-10, 2012, the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission and the Louisiana Environmental Education Association will host the 15th Annual Louisiana Environmental Education Symposium – “Our Environment…Our Future” at the Lafayette Crowne Plaza in Lafayette, Louisiana. Early Bird Registration is $35 until February 10, 2012. (Registrations sent after February 10th increase to $50.) We are celebrating 15 years of professional development (lots of CLUs here) and want YOU to join in the fun!!
          Friday, March 9th: Optional Short Course sessions will be offered at locations in and around Lafayette. Get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into coastal restoration efforts and talk one-on-one with the scientists involved! Or take a canoe trip down the Vermilion River to learn about watershed issues and the variety of habitats along the way. You’ll then return to Vermilionville for some great watershed lesson activities. Or get ideas on how to “Green Ribbon” your school through the schoolyard garden tour with the “Get Your ROOTS on” session. Lastly, you can choose to participate in a fun-filled day at Acadiana Nature Station. The staff there can’t wait for you to experience their take-home ideas on using the outdoors for THE BEST kind of classroom experience! Go to our website for more information & registration forms for these workshops/tours.
          Saturday, March 10th: Sit back and enjoy some quality networking while we serve up a continental breakfast to start your day. We’ll then offer breakout sessions and plenty of exhibit hall time. Prepare to be entertained with a WOW keynote address during our banquet style lunch! Then it’s back to the final sessions before we break and go home. We’ve designated 2012 as the Year of Outdoor Teaching so many sessions will focus on how to use the outdoors to enhance the classroom experience!
We do offer lodging assistance (1/2 the hotel fee for 1 night) to those with significant drive times while funding is available so apply now! Lodging assistance forms can be found on our website.

All Symposium registration, exhibitor, and presenter forms and related information can be found on our website at For more information: Venise Ortego, EE Coordinator, 337-948-0255,,


Spring 2012 Online Course: Environmental Education in Urban Communities
Apply: December 15, 2011 – January 22, 2012
Course Dates: February 6, 2012 – April 29, 2012

Cornell University’s Civic Ecology Lab announces an online course offered through EECapacity, the EPA-funded national environmental education program. This 12-week, non-credit professional development course will cover novel practices and conceptual frameworks of urban environmental education. Limited to 20 participants. For more information:

Exciting Summer Program for High School Juniors (June 24-August 4)
The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) co-sponsors of the Research Science Institute (RSI) are looking for talented 11th Grade STEM Students! Interested students should apply to the (RSI) program to be held on the MIT campus June 24 to August 4, 2012. They will meet some of the world’s most talented students and have an opportunity to conduct research in amazing labs! Visit for RSI application materials and more information about the program or contact Maite Ballestero, Vice President, Programs, The Center for Excellence in Education can also be found on Facebook.


Oil Spill Professional Development Video conference (January 28)
Through a grant supported by the NOAA Office of Education professional development as a video conference will be offered to teachers at ten locations with an opportunity to earn a $100 stipend on January 28, 2012 in Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. Formal and informal educators who teach middle to high school grades or professionals who work with the K-12 community are invited to participate in a three hour training session on topics related to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The session will be on Saturday, January 28, 2012 9 a.m. to 12 noon (sign in at 8:30 a.m.) at three locations in Louisiana: LSU Baton Rouge; Aquarium of the Americas, New Orleans; Bossier Instructional Technology Center, Bossier City.
For more information contact Dianne Lindstedt at Louisiana Sea Grant, LSU at or (225) 578-1558. To register:
See attachments below for more information.

Call for Proposals: Dedicated Sessions, Presentations, and Posters (Deadline: February 1)
Restore America’s Estuaries 6th National Conference on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration
Restoring Ecosystems, Strengthening Communities
October 20-24, 2012, Tampa, Florida, USA
To Submit a Proposal:  
The Conference focuses attention on the challenges and opportunities facing the coastal habitat restoration community. Join the restoration practitioners, civic and community leaders, consultants, scientists, educators, planners, engineers, students, volunteers, philanthropists, program managers, field staff, contractors, regulators, and others at this must-attend event.
For additional information about the Conference, please contact:
Sponsorship: Harvey Potts (
Exhibitor and Scholarship Opportunities: Meg Beiter (
General Conference Information: Elsa Carlisle (
Conference Program/Call for Proposals: Suzanne Giles Simon (


Schools Eligible to win $5,000 Awards To Help Save America’s Wetland
Annual ‘Keep Your Eye on the Prize’ Contest (Deadline January 15)

The America’s WETLAND Foundation’s annual Keep Your Eye on the Prize will award $5,000 to the schools of 10 Louisiana students who are challenged to use their creative skills to illustrate what they feel is the significance of Louisiana’s coastal land loss. The Keep Your Eye on the Prize program is designed to encourage students across the state to consider the significance of Louisiana's coastal wetlands to their own lives by writing essays, creating artwork or taking photographs on the topic. The subject of the 2012 contest essay entries will be “How can Louisiana adapt to coastal land loss and what changes should be made?” The subject of the 2012 contest art/photo entries will be, “Why should the area known as “America’s WETLAND be saved?”
Students may submit entries online at under the “Get Involved” tab through January 15, 2012. Two winners will be awarded in each age category and two overall winners will be named. Winning students’ classes will be awarded a $5000 grant from the America’s WETLAND Conservation Corps to be used for a wetland planting project along with a school visit by The Estuarians, the nine action hero mascots of the Campaign to Save Coastal Louisiana.
The LSU AgCenter, the LSU Coastal Roots Program, Louisiana Science Teachers Association and Youth Wetlands Week support the Keep Your Eye on the Prize contest.
Complete contest guidelines available at

Go Bananas! Challenge (Deadline: January 27)
Take the Go Bananas Challenge! – a competition that challenges schools and scout groups across the country to answer the call, and create campaigns to collect and recycle cell phones to help save gorillas. Collect the most cell phones and win up to $5,000 for your school/scout group. Coltan, a mineral found in cell phones, is mined in gorilla habitat. By recycling old cell phones, you reduce the demand. Join the challenge online and start thinking about a creative campaign. Contest ends January 27, 2012, and the winning group will be announced February 1, 2012. For more information:

Like A Drop of Water Essay Contest
This writing contest encourages youth ages 8-17 to share their ideas on how they and their countries can reduce climate change and pollution. Like drops of water that make up the oceans, millions of people of all ages, can lead the way to creating the positive changes needed to have a sustainable planet. No deadline. Six awards of $50-$100 per month are granted through June 2015.
For more information:

Now Accepting Nominations for Coastal Stewardship Awards (Deadline: February 3)
The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana will host the 17th annual Coastal Stewardship Awards Program on Friday, April 13, 2011 at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center. Coastal Stewardship Awards recognize the contributions of individuals and groups who demonstrate outstanding commitment to preserving and restoring Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. CRCL is proud to honor these leaders in coastal restoration, who share our vision of a sustainable coast for future generations. Nominations are now being accepted for the Lifetime Achievement Award, Distinguished Achievement Award and the Coastal Stewardship Award.  Please consider nominating an individual or group who has made an exceptional contribution to protecting and restoring Louisiana’s wetlands. To nominate a person or organization for a Coastal Stewardship Award, visit For more information, contact CRCL at 1-888-LACOAST (1-888-522-6278). All nominations must be received by February 3, 2012.

Announcing the Sustainable Energy Award (Deadline: February 10)
NEEF and Samsung are partnering to celebrate those innovative schools from across the country that have used energy efficiency to enhance education, reduce environmental impacts and generate cost savings. The $10,000 Sustainable Energy Award will be presented to each of the top three high schools that can demonstrate how they have engaged students and teachers in school-wide energy savings through the creative and innovative use of technology. Their achievement will be showcased as models for other schools looking to take on this challenge. The national Sustainable Energy Award is made possible through the generous support of Samsung Electronics America. Applications are due February 10, 2012. For more information:

We Can Change the World Challenge (Deadline: March 15)
The Siemens "We Can Change the World Challenge" involves student teams along with teacher/mentors to solve environmental problems. This collaborative effort of the Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and the College Board, gives students the use of scientific investigation and Web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education to create a replicable green solution. Teachers and mentors should register their teams and begin formulating their projects online. For more information:


CWPPRA Goes Live on Facebook and YouTube
The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) Public Outreach Committee is pleased to announce the public opening of the new CWPPRA Facebook and YouTube Pages. Members of the public are encouraged to visit the LaCoast homepage and click on the “f” icon near the top of the page. This will bring users to the CWPPRA Facebook Page. Once there, please, “Like” us on Facebook. Please invite your friends to also “Like” us on Facebook.
Also, now available is our new YouTube site. Our YouTube site has all of our CWPPRA videos in one location in the realm of social media. The advantage to this is that YouTube is partnered with Google which will add a great search resource for the public to find our informative videos on our coastal restoration efforts.
To directly access these new sites from this page, click on the link: and

Energy Hog
Energy Hog is an online game developed by the Alliance to Save Energy that allows students to identify and get rid of hogs that pig out on energy, in the process discovering how to use energy wisely. Access the game at

Survival: An Endangered Animal Game
This newly developed free mobile app from ARKive engages students in a series of quick-fire mini-games to reveal the identity of some of the world's most endangered animals. Access the app at


Find out about wetland outreach activities including symposiums, conferences, meetings, educational opportunities, volunteer opportunities, and related support material at the Louisiana Unified Coastal Community Calendar at

Venise Ortego, Environmental Education Coordinator, 337-948-0255,
Juliet Raffray, Environmental Education Assistant Coordinator, 225-765-0124,
Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries –

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