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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.

Lake Charles Man Arrested For Impersonating an LDWF Enforcement Agent

Release Date: 03/27/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents arrested a Lake Charles man for allegedly impersonating an LDWF enforcement agent on March 23.

Agents arrested Andy J. Anderson, 43, for false personation of a peace officer or firefighter.

LDWF agents learned that Anderson had identified himself as an LDWF enforcement agent at place of business in Lafayette on March 18.  Anderson had introduced himself as an LDWF enforcement agent and was wearing an LDWF agent jacket.

Agents arrested Anderson and booked him into the Lafayette Parish Jail on March 23.

False personation of a peace officer or firefighter brings up to a $1,000 fine and two years in jail.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to Meet Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Release Date: 03/27/2019

The next regular Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.


The following agenda items will be discussed:


1.      Call to Order

2.      Pledge of Allegiance

3.      Roll Call

4.      Adoption of March 7, 2019 Commission Meeting Minutes

5.      Approval of April 3, 2019 Agenda

6.      Commission Special Announcements / Personal Privilege

a. Recognition of Service and Presentation of Plaque to Commissioner Bart Yakupzack

7.      Receive and Consider Resolution for Mitchell B. Jurisich, Sr. – Al Sunseri, Chairman

8.      Enforcement Report, March 2019 – Major Edward Skena, Enforcement Division

9.      Receive Presentation on Levels of Oyster Cultch Material Removed when Harvesting Seed Oysters from Louisiana’s Public Oyster Beds – Dr. Earl Melancon, Louisiana Sea Grant and Carolina Bourque, Fisheries Biologist

10.  Receive and Consider Final Promulgation on Notice of Intent to Un-Designate Certain Water Bottoms East of the Mississippi River as Public Oyster Seed Grounds – Carolina Bourque, Fisheries Biologist

11.  Receive Report on 2019 Spring Inshore Shrimp Season – Peyton Cagle, Fisheries Biologist

12.  Receive and Consider a Declaration of Emergency Setting the 2019 Private Recreational Red Snapper Season – Jason Adriance, Fisheries Biologist

13.  Receive and Consider Declaration of Emergency to Close Turkey Season on Dewey Wills, Grassy Lake and Richard K. Yancey WMAs Due to Flooding – Tommy Tuma, Habitat Stewardship Branch Director

14.  Receive Public Comments for the Notice of Intent/Potpourri for Rule Changes in Wild Quadrupeds and Wild Bird Rules and Regulations, including Cervid Carcass Importation Ban Rules and Regulations, General and Wildlife Management Area Hunting Rules and Regulations, General and WMA Turkey Hunting Regulations, Along with Resident Game Hunting Season Date Adjustments for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, and Migratory Bird Season Adjustments for 2019-2020 – Tommy Tuma, Habitat Stewardship Branch Director

15.  Receive Presentation on Airboat Restrictions on WMAs – Steve Smith, Wildlife Biologist

16.  Receive an Update on the 2019 Regular Legislative Session and Consider Taking a Position on Certain Legislative Instruments – Cole Garrett, General Counsel

17.  Set August 20

18.  Receive Public Comments

19.  Adjournment

A live audio/video stream of this meeting will be available via To attend a live broadcast of the January 2019 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting, please register at
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 To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at

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 at least 72 hours in advance.

LEEC eNews: Leave Wildlife in the Wild, Think Twice Before Dumping Crawfish Peels, and More!


Student Art & Language Arts Contest

The 2019 LEEC Student Environmental Awareness Art and Language Arts Contest will feature thetheme "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.
Students: Does your community have a unique recycling center, dedicated volunteer organization, green business or outdoor facility that makes it unique in the environmental landscape? Take
inspiration from people doing good things for the environment and create a piece of visual or language art that explains what is great about your part of the state.
The deadline for the contest is Friday, April 19, 2019. See official rules at the official registration form.

Environmental News

LDWF Reminds Public to Leave Suspected Injured, Orphaned Birds Undisturbed

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) wants to remind the public to leave suspected injured and orphaned birds alone and undisturbed.  

It is best to refrain from intervening in the normal fledgling process and become familiar with common behaviors of fledgling birds, young birds who have grown too large for the nest and need room to stretch/flap their wings and practice flight.  

Each year LDWF receives calls from concerned citizens who have found what they believe to be abandoned birds. It is against the law to capture, transport or possess birds listed on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Treaty Act list and other wildlife. Generally, birds and other wildlife are better off left where they are found.  

To learn more about identifying birds that need help If you find a baby mammal in the wild, consult


Crawfish Don't Belong in the Bayou
Common Seafood Mistakes You Might be Making

Boiled seafood is a staple in many Louisiana homes, and a great cultural tie to the bounty of resources our estuary provides. Eaten by residents and the thousands of tourists who visit Louisiana ever year, millions of pounds of crawfish, crabs, and shrimp are eaten every year in Louisiana. That’s a lot of seafood!
But are we responsibly disposing of our seafood peelings? Many people dump seafood waste into our waterways, but this can lead to serious issues for our water bodies and their inhabitants.
What’s the big deal about improper disposal of peelings?
Dumping seafood peelings and boil water into our waterways can have multiple negative effects such as:
  • Dissolved Oxygen - Decomposition of organic matter, like seafood waste, can alter the physical and chemical quality of surface and groundwater. As the waste decomposes, our waterways become depleted of dissolved oxygen.
  • Pathogens - Added waste in our waterways can add and spread pathogens, and ultimately lead to disease in our wild fish.
  • Nutrient Overload - Dumping nitrogen rich waste, like seafood peelings, adds nutrients into the water that can lead to algae blooms, and ultimately, eutrophication. When these large blooms decompose, the process removes oxygen from the water, creating a fish kill.
How to properly dispose of seafood peelings and boil water
Next time you’re enjoying a seafood boil, remember to discard of your peelings in a responsible manner:
  • The best and easiest route of disposal of peelings is directly in the trash.
  • If you own your own property, you can also dig a hole to drop peelings in, and refill the hole.
When you’re ready to pour out your boil water, consider your sewage system:
  • If you’re on the city sewage system, remove all solids and pour your boil water down a regular sink drain.
  • If you’re not on the city sewage system, you can pour your boil water into a grassy or weeded area that is away from any bayou, ditch, or body of water.
Be sure to never pour your boil water down a street storm drain, as this water drains straight to our bayous and other water bodies in our estuary without being treated.
Article courtesy of the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program,

Funding Opportunity

EPA Extends Application Period for Environmental Educator Awards

The application period has been extended for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE). 
Applications are now due April 5, 2019.
Details regarding application requirements and descriptions of winning projects since 2002 can be found at:


Support the LEEC by purchasing an Environmental Education specialty plate at



Louisiana Coastal Fellowship Program

The Louisiana Coastal Fellowship Program

LCFP Summer 2020

The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission will continue its Louisiana Coastal Fellowship  Program in the summer of 2020. Thanks to a generous grant from the NOAA Gulf of Mexico B-WET program, the LEEC will conduct a series of four professional development workshops for teachers from eligible parishes covering the subjects of coastal issues, marine debris, water quality and invasive species.

Registration will open in January 2020.

Date: Summer 2020
Host/Organizing Agencies: Louisiana Environmental Education Commission
Contact: Venise Ortego

LCFP Summer 2019

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. Charles, 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



Claire Anderson, Ripple Effect

Steve Babcock, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority/LSU Lab School

Murt Conover, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium 

Brian Gautreau, LSU Gordon A. Cain Center for STEM Literacy/Louisiana Environmental Education Commission/Keep Louisiana Beautiful

Lydia Hill, Louisiana Department of Education

Dinah Maygarden, University of New Orleans Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences Coastal Education Program

Venise Ortego & Thomas Gresham, Louisiana Department of Education/Louisiana Environmental Education Commission


Selected Fellows Recieve:

1. Stipend totaling $1500 and distributed according to the following schedule:

a. $250 upon completion of workshops

b. $1250 upon completion of all deliverables

2. Water quality testing equipment valued at approximately $300

3. Lodging and Meals at workshops

4. 64 hours of professional development/CLUs


To Apply:

Registration is closed for the summer 2019 fellowship. Registration for the summer 2020 fellowship will open in January 2020.


Questions may be directed to Brian Gautreau at


This program was made possible through the generous support of the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

Port Sulphur Man Cited for Oyster Violations

Release Date: 03/19/2019

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agent cited a Port Sulphur man for alleged oyster violations on Feb. 28.

The agent cited Randy Johnson, 61, for misbranded seafood, selling fish without a wholesale/retail dealer license and failing to complete trip tickets.

A joint investigation between LDWF, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Enforcement and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources resulted in the citations.

LDWF agents found that Johnson was harvesting oysters in Louisiana following green tag protocols, which stipulates oysters must be consumed fully cooked.  He then labeled the oysters with tags from several oyster processors in Port Sulphur even though the oysters never passed through those processors.

Johnson then sold the oysters to a Mississippi man who sold them raw to consumers in Mississippi.  Agents also discovered Johnson did not have the necessary wholesale/retail dealer license and never completed trip tickets for any of the sales.

Misbranding seafood brings up to a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.  Selling fish without a wholesale/retail dealer license and failing to complete trip tickets each carries a $250 to $500 fine and 90 days in jail for each offense.

LDWF Attorney Alvin F. Landry Promoted to Lt. Colonel in U.S. Army Reserves

Release Date: 03/18/2019

LDWF Attorney Alvin Landry

March 18, 2019 – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) attorney Alvin F. Landry has been promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Landry, who has been with LDWF for three years, is the leader of the Baton Rouge Team of the 2nd Legal Operations Detachment, a multi-state Reserve unit headquartered in New Orleans.
Landry has served in the Armed Forces Reserves as a Judge Advocate General since 2004. He also served as an assistant district attorney for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and as an administrative law judge in Louisiana and has maintained a private practice for more than 22 years.
At LDWF, Landry primarily handles civil restitution cases, public records requests, policies, wildlife and fish advisory groups and task forces, general litigation and land matters.
Landry is the son of the late Frederick Gatz "Pete" Landry and Betty Prejean Landry of Brusly.

LDWF Participating in “Spring Aboard” Boating Safety Campaign

Release Date: 03/14/2019

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is encouraging boaters to enroll in a boating education course prior to the kickoff of the boating season.

LDWF will be participating in the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Spring Aboard-Take a Boating Education Course campaign by providing eight free boating education courses across the state from March 17-23.

Developed by NASBLA, and produced under a grant administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, the annual Spring Aboard campaign informs and motivates boaters to prepare for the boating season by providing information on how to enroll in a boating knowledge or skills based education course.  The campaign emphasizes enrollment in courses verified as meeting the national boating knowledge or skill standard.

“Spring Aboard week is the perfect reminder and opportunity for anyone that needs to get boating certified before the spring and summer boating seasons,” said Major Rachel Zechenelly, Louisiana’s state boating law administrator.  “The classes are free of charge and bring valuable boating safety information for every boating student regardless of experience level.”

Boating education courses are mandatory for anyone in Louisiana born after Jan. 1, 1984 who operates a motorboat over 10 horsepower.  To register for an LDWF boating education course please visit

LDWF implemented Louisiana’s safe boating education program in 2003 and since that time have certified over 100,000 boaters.

U.S. Coast Guard statistics indicate that of the accidents where the level of operator education was known, 80 percent of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction.

Single Vessel Boating Incident Leads to Fatality in Tangipahoa Parish

Release Date: 03/14/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident in Tangipahoa Parish.

LDWF agents recovered the body of Edward Ridgel Jr., 66, of Tickfaw, from South Pass Manchac this morning, March 14, around 7:45 a.m.

Agents received a call from Ridgel’s family that he was an overdue boater around 6:30 p.m. on March 13.  Ridgel’s family told agents that he launched his boat from North Pass Landing in the morning to go fishing.

Agents along with members of the Manchac Fire Department and Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office (TPSO) deputies immediately began searching for Ridgel.

A commercial crab fishermen spotted an unmanned 16 foot aluminum vessel in South Pass Manchac around 7:15 a.m.  Agents arrived on scene and found Ridgel’s body in the water around 7:45 a.m. about 30 feet from the boat.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  It is unknown at this time how Ridgel was ejected from the vessel.  Ridgel’s body was turned over to the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.  Ridgel was not wearing a personal flotation device at the time of his recovery.

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