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WEEKLY eNEWS: Upcoming Events, Contest, Resources, and In The News

A Compilation of Environmental Education News from Across Louisiana


UPCOMING EVENTS
Audubon Aquarium WETMAAP Teacher Workshop (October 22)
Learn how USGS maps and aerial photos can enhance your classroom teaching about our coastline at the Audubon Aquarium WETMAAP Teacher Workshop on October 22 from 9 am-noon. Jessie Kastler, of the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Lab, will show you how to use these materials as well as GPS devices to explore the coastal habitats of the Gulf of Mexico and the changes that have impacted this area over the past few decades. This workshop is ideal for middle-school teachers, but is also appropriate for all formal and informal educators. WETMAAP also includes opportunities to incorporate science, geography and math standards in your classroom lessons about the Gulf. For more information, visit: http://www.auduboninstitute.org/educators/workshops/wetmaap-workshop or download the registration form below.

Basics of the Basin Research Symposium (October 27-29)
Commemorating 10 Years of Research! Registration is open for the Basics of the Basin Conference. The meeting is October 27, 28 and 29th at Southeastern University of Louisiana in Hammond. Early registration and preliminary program is available online: http://www2.selu.edu/orgs/pbrp/BasicsoftheBasin2011.html
For site and registration inquiries contact: Contact Robert Moreau 985.549.5008 / rmoreau@selu.edu or Nick Norton 985.549.2923
For program questions contact: Theryn Henkel 812 219-4740 / therynhenkel@gmail.com or John A. Lopez, 504-421-7348 / johnlopez@pobox.com


CONTESTS
2012 Water Challenge (Deadline: September 30)
The 2012 Water Challenge is looking for innovative entrepreneurs. For the second year, The Greater New Orleans Foundation and The Idea Village want to discover and nurture up-and-coming businesses creating solutions for our water issues. A special area of focus this year is business ideas that address flooding. However, all water-related entrepreneurs are welcome to apply. Up to 8 finalists will be invited to participate in the Idea Village's IDEAxcelerator, a 6 month business development program mentored by a team of Executives-in-Residence. The finalists will also be eligible to participate in the 2012 Water Challenge day pitch competition during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week in March for a prize of up to $50,000 in seed capital for their business. The application process is open now at http://ideavillage.org and the deadline of September 30.

Samsung Leads STEM Education with a Million-Dollar Giveaway (Deadline: October 24)
Samsung has joined Change the Equation (CTEq) in its effort to answer President Obama’s call to improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education for every child in the United States. Samsung and its partners are addressing this critical education issue by asking teachers in public schools nationwide to submit a short application now through October 24, 2011, for a chance to participate in Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow national video contest. Fifty classrooms will be chosen to receive a Samsung camcorder and laptop, along with Adobe® Premiere® Elements and Photoshop® Elements software to create videos responding to the question: “How can science or math help improve the environment in your community?” Winning teachers and students will receive a variety of Samsung electronics, Microsoft and Adobe software, and DIRECTV educational programming valued at over $1 million. As part of Samsung’s Hope for Children initiative, this concerted effort will promote math and science education as a path to fostering sustainable innovation. To learn more about the contest or submit an application, visit Solve for Tomorrowhttps://pages.samsung.com/us/sft/home.htm


RESOURCES
Dolphin Tale in 3D is inspired by the amazing true story of a brave dolphin and the people who worked together to save her life. After being caught in a crab trap, Winter is rescued but loses her tail. A dedicated marine biologist, a brilliant prosthetic doctor, and a devoted young boy bring about a miracle: a prosthetic tail to help Winter swim again. Dolphin Tale in 3D is now playing in theaters and will inspire you! NWF has teamed up with the film to empower you to take action. Learn more about dolphins and find out how you can help protect them—and also help save ocean habitat.
Downloads!  Fun activities for kids to help dolphins, an Educator’s Guide, and more!
Adopt a Dolphin!  Want to help National Wildlife Federation protect dolphins and the places where they live? Throw a dolphin adoption party with your class, a club, or friends! Make it fun and come up with creative ways to help people care about dolphins.

North American Black Bears Website
Untamed Science is a site dedicated to making inspirational videos and content for the sciences. They have a diverse collection of working professionals, including a production team of award winning science-filmmakers, a camera talent team, and a collection of science content writers who are dedicated to helping expand the www.untamedscience.com outreach portals. The link below provides more information on the North American Black Bear for students and teachers: http://www.untamedscience.com/biodiversity/animals/chordates/mammals/carnivorans/bears/ursus/american-black-bear

Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Newsletter
GCOOS News and Updates for September 2011 is attached.
 

IN THE NEWS
Floating Islands to be installed at Isle de Jean Charles near Houma, LA
          The America's WETLAND Foundation, Coastal Conservation Association, Terrebonne Parish Coastal Management Office, Entergy, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Shell and some 200 volunteers from the corporate sponsors, local schools, youth groups and the Isle de Jean Charles community will be employing for the first time, "floating island" restoration in an attempt to build new land and protect remaining lands in the Isle de Jean Charles area near Houma.
          Using recycled plastics, each floating island is 5 x 8 feet and is planted with 50-60 plants. The islands will be towed and anchored next to existing land as a means of curtailing erosion through wave action. In addition, some islands will be placed away from existing land as an experiment to see if new land can be built in shallow waters. The plants in the island will grow root systems into the waterbottom, trap sediments and grow toward and tie into the disappearing marsh. If successful, the area will strengthen and flourish, serving as a model for sustainable land mass. During the three days, volunteers will plant about 1,500 linear feet of these floating island mats. This area has some of the worst coastal erosion in Louisiana, so if this experiment is as successful as anticipated by Martin Ecosystems of Baton Rouge, this demonstration project could launch a new weapon in the "multiple lines of offense" tactic in the war against coastal land loss.

 

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 http://lacoast.gov/calendar/


Venise Ortego, Environmental Education Coordinator, 337-948-0255, vortego@wlf.la.gov
Juliet Raffray, Environmental Education Assistant Coordinator, 225-765-0124, jraffray@wlf.la.gov
Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries – www.wlf.louisiana.gov/eec
 

Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board

Release Date: 09/27/2011

The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Meeting, the public is invited to attend.

Regular Meeting Agenda

September 28, 2011

1 p.m.

Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board

2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210

I.  Call to order

II. Reading and approval of minutes

III. Reports

A.      Executive Director’s Report

B.      Treasurer’s Report

C.      Finance Committee Report

D.     Sponsorship Committee Report

  IV.  Old Business

A.      3-year Seafood Marketing Campaign

B.      National Seafood Marketing Coalition - Alan

C.      Brussels overview

D.     Development of Policy and Procedure Workshop

E.      By laws - Kim

 V.  New Business

A.      Officer election protocol – Kim

B.      Thomas Hymel of Louisiana Direct - Kim

VI. Set Next Meeting(s)

VII. Adjourn

 

 

Baton Rouge Man Arrested for Boating Violations

Release Date: 09/27/2011

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Baton Rouge man on Sept. 26 for his alleged involvement in a boating crash incident on the Amite River Diversion Canal.

Agents arrested Jack Riffle, 41, on four counts of first-degree negligent injury, driving or operating a boat while intoxicated (DWI) and reckless operation of a moving vessel and booked him into the Livingston Parish Jail.  Riffle was the operator of a 19-foot vessel that struck and was lodged under a pier in the Diversion Canal in Livingston Parish on Aug. 27 that left all five occupants with moderate to serious injuries.

Passengers on the boat were Elizabeth Riffle, 44, wife of Jack Riffle, their 15-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son, and Chico Garcia, 29, all of Baton Rouge.

LDWF agents responded to a report of a boating crash incident at 7 p.m.  Agents immediately summoned emergency medical responders and began removing debris in order to access and provide basic first-aid to the injured until the advanced medical responders were able to arrive.

Jack Riffle submitted to a blood sample following the boating crash incident, which allegedly showed that he was over the .08 blood alcohol concentration legal limit.

First-degree negligent injury brings up to a $2,000 fine and up to five years in jail for each offense.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Reckless operation of a moving vessel brings up to a $200 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Agents involved in the response and investigation were Sgt. Todd Lewis, Sgt. Randy Lanoux, Sgt. Ezekiel Talbert, Agent Terry Hicks and Agent Dale Wheat.

For more information contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Team Pale Horse Takes Home Top Prize in First Annual Louisiana Saltwater Series Yellowfin Tuna Fall Shootout

Release Date: 09/27/2011

Captain Kevin Beech, Jordan Ellis, Ryan Ducote, Josh Cain, Jody Bondurat, Jacob Gauthier, Hevitt Gauthier and Bronson Giroward.

(Sept. 27, 2011)- This year marked the first annual Yellowfin Tuna Fall Shootout, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, as part of its Louisiana Saltwater Series.

The Louisiana Saltwater Series tournaments have helped to create awareness and increase participation in tag-and-release fishing by offering a competitive outlet for conservation-minded anglers and captains. 

The Department is committed to increasing the number of tagged yellowfin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico.  The new tuna tagging program will provide baseline information for the population models used to assess the health of the stock of this valuable fishery.

“There is no fishing experience like catching a yellowfin tuna,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “We wanted to combine this experience with some fun competition between anglers who understand and enjoy the fishery, but are also interested in supporting the Department in our conservation-based efforts.”

A total of six tags were deployed at this weekend’s tournament.  The tags will be used to provide information about their movements, migrations, stock structure, growth, population size, mortality, schooling behavior, and physiology. 

The tournament offered three competitive categories: a tagging division, chartered boat division and weighed fish division. 

The total number of tagged fish determined the winner of the tagging division, going to the charted boat Pale Horse, with a winning total of two tagged yellowfin.  Team members included Captain Kevin Beech, Jordan Ellis, Ryan Ducote, Josh Cain, Jody Bondurat, Jacob Gauthier, Hevitt Gauthier and Bronson Giroward.  Pale Horse also took swept the chartered boat division, earning them an overall cash prize of $8,000.

The boat Hooked Up showed up to the scales with a 145-pound yellowfin, earning them first prize in the weighed fish division.  Team members include Captain Dane Mitchell, Ryan Parham, Patrick Fitzmorris, John Lane and Jeff Barger.   The team took home an offshore tackle package valued at $3,000.

LDWF would like to thank its many partners and sponsors for making this tournament a great success, including Venice Marina, which served as host site for the tournament and provided food to all participating anglers. 

Information about the 2012 Louisiana Saltwater Series will soon be available at www.lasaltwaterseries.com.

If you are a recreational fishermen, please consider signing up for the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program.   The program is open to all species, with some of the more common being redfish and speckled trout. Through this program, volunteer anglers provide information that is difficult, often impossible, and expensive to obtain by other means.   For additional information, interested anglers can contact fishtagging@ccalouisiana.com.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

 

MONDAY: LDWF to Begin Accepting Lake Calcasieu Oyster Permit Applications

Release Date: 09/23/2011

September 23, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reminds interested oyster harvesters that Lake Calcasieu oyster permit applications will begin being accepted at 9 a.m., Monday, September 26.  Applications may be submitted online only.

To view a sample application click here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/image/sample-application-calcasieu-lake-oyster-permits

For more information on the Lake Calcasieu oyster permit application click here: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/webform/calcasieu-lake-oyster-harvester-permit

For questions concerning the application process, contact Cole Garrett at cgarrett@wlf.la.gov.

As required by Act 329 of the 2011 Louisiana Legislative Session, anyone seeking to commercially harvest oysters in Lake Calcasieu must have one of 126 special Oyster Harvester Permits issued by LDWF. 

Of the 126 permits available, 63 will be issued exclusively to eligible fishermen who have historically harvested in Lake Calcasieu since January 1, 2001.  The remaining 63 permits will be issued to any person who is otherwise eligible.

Permits will be valid for a period of one year beginning October 1, of a given year and ending September 30, of the following year.  Applicants are required to hold a current and valid commercial fishing license and oyster harvester license.

At its September meeting, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2011 limit at 10 sacks per person, per vessel, per day at Lake Calcasieu.  Only the portion of the Lake known as West Cove will be open for harvest.  The season is set to open on November 1st.

Applications for permits will be available exclusively online on the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website (www.wlf.louisiana.gov).  Permits will be issued on a first-come-first-serve basis, determined by the order in which completed applications are submitted through the LDWF website.  Online submission is the ONLY acceptable method to submit completed applications.

Completed applications will be reviewed by LDWF and permits will be issued prior to the opening of the oyster harvest season in Lake Calcasieu West Cove.

Harvesters will be required to reapply on the last Monday of September each year.

A completed application consists of the following information:  applicant’s name, physical and mailing address, phone number, commercial license number, and oyster harvester license number.

For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

LDWF Celebrates National Hunting & Fishing Day Outdoor Festivals Sept. 24

Release Date: 09/22/2011

LDWF Celebrates National Hunting & Fishing Day Outdoor Festivals Sept. 24
LDWF Celebrates National Hunting & Fishing Day Outdoor Festivals Sept. 24
LDWF Celebrates National Hunting & Fishing Day Outdoor Festivals Sept. 24

Sept. 22, 2011 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host its annual celebrations of National Hunting and Fishing Day Outdoor Festivals on Saturday, Sept. 24.  LDWF invites citizens of all ages to attend these free events and enjoy time outside with family and friends. There are four events held across the state in Baton Rouge, Monroe, Minden and Woodworth.  Admission is free at all four locations with a wide variety of activities to enjoy.

“These events offer the best opportunities for our citizens to experience first hand what Louisiana offers in recreational outdoor sports,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. "Hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports are fun, healthy activities for everyone, from the toddler to the grandparent.  We offer something for everyone at National Hunting and Fishing Day.”

Admission is free at all locations.  Some of the demonstrations include bow-hunting, fly-casting and tying, bait casting, Labrador retrieving, falconry and cannon nets (capturing wildlife.) The activities include skeet shooting, air rifles, canoeing, fishing, youth fishing contest and much more. Many of the education displays include live animals. The Baton Rouge event will include a 1400-gallon aquarium. 

There is great local food at all locations.  At the Baton Rouge event, local chefs are preparing seafood and wild game.  Chef Celeste Gill, Chef James Window and the Louisiana Culinary Institute will be on hand preparing shrimp, catfish, wild boar and venison for everyone to taste. 

To find out more about National Hunting and Fishing Day Outdoor Festival in your area, visit LDWF at www.wlf.louisiana.gov or contact one of the LDWF offices listed below.   To watch the 2011 National Hunting and Fishing Day Outdoor Festival video click here!

Baton Rouge

Waddill Outdoor Education Center

4142 N. Flannery Road

(225)765-2800


 

Minden

Bodcau Wildlife Management Area


1700 Bodcau Dam Rd.


Haughton, LA.  71037


(318) 371-3050

 

Monroe

LDWF District 2 Office


368 Centurylink Dr.


Monroe, LA.  71203


(318) 343-4044

 

Woodworth

Woodworth Outdoor Education Center


661 Robinson Bridge Rd.


Woodworth, LA.  71485


(318) 484-2212

 

LDWF Enforcement Division First Agency to Earn BOAT Accreditation

Release Date: 09/22/2011

(From left to right: NASBLA Executive Director John Johnson, NASBLA President James Graybeal, LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, LDWF Lt.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division is the first agency in the United States to earn national accreditation in the Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) program administered by the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

During a ceremony in Milwaukee, Wis. at NASBLA’s Annual Conference, NASBLA’s President Jim Graybeal presented LDWF’s Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne and Lt. Spencer Cole with the formal Accreditation Certificate.

According to NASBLA.org, the BOAT program establishes a national standard for the training and qualification of maritime law enforcement and rescue personnel.  Adoption and implementation of the BOAT program provides a true national standard for the purpose of maritime interoperability at the federal, state and local levels.  Standardization ensures maritime agencies can interact together and will bolster their ability to act as force multipliers nationwide.

"Agencies who choose to adopt this national standard of training can assure their ability to conduct missions on our nation’s waterways safely and effectively and operate seamlessly with their federal, state and local partners on the water," said John Fetterman, NASBLA's Director of Law Enforcement.  "Congratulations go to Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries for being the first accredited state agency in our BOAT program, which other states will use as a model of success."

The LDWF Enforcement Division is the first agency to implement the BOAT standard in all aspects of operations and training including cadet training at the academy level and training of partners throughout the state across all jurisdictions.  The BOAT program will enhance LDWF's training plans in the areas of basic crewmember, boat operator for search and rescue and tactical operations.

"This is a significant achievement for the department as we work with the U.S. Coast Guard, State Police and local authorities daily in patrolling our local waterways," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the state's Boating Law Administrator.  "This training program allows every enforcement agency responsible for securing and providing safe passage on our waterways to train together and be on the same page during natural disasters and maritime security threats."

The LDWF Enforcement Division is an active participant in Louisiana's Homeland Security Plan and represents the state in waterborne emergencies.  Through the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, LDWF is the lead agency for search and rescue operations during natural disasters and maritime security of Louisiana's vital business and government interests along the coast and major rivers.

As members of the Governor's Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Area Maritime Security Executive Steering Committee and all major port security committees within the state, LDWF Law Enforcement Division agents frequently respond to requests to deploy LDWF marine resources for security concerns.

The LDWF Enforcement Division's specialized training and equipment and its ability to operate throughout the state's vast maze of waterways and wild areas has complemented Louisiana's ability to respond to emergencies on the water.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Join L.D.W.F. For F.U.N. Camp Oct. 7 - 9

Release Date: 09/22/2011

Sept. 22, 2011-- "FUN Camp" is a weekend adventure of outdoor fun for a parent and child designed to help Families Understand Nature. 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is offering a mother-child FUN Camp from Oct. 7 through 9 to educate participants about Louisiana's wildlife resources.

The fall FUN Camp, scheduled at LDWF’s Woodworth Outdoor Education Facility, is for mothers and children (boys or girls) age 10-13.  Activities include fishing, canoeing, shooting, hiking and archery.  The program goals for participants include developing a greater appreciation for the outdoors, becoming comfortable in an outdoor environment and having fun.

Mothers and children will arrive Friday evening by 7 p.m. at Woodworth Outdoor Education Facility, 661 Robinson Bridge Road, Woodworth, LA 71485.  All participants go camping Saturday night with tents and cooking gear provided by LDWF.  All activities conclude  around noon on Sunday.  A father-child FUN Camp will be offered April 13-15, 2012.

Pre-registration is required and space is limited and filled on a first come, first served basis.  Registration is $50 for each family (a parent and child).  Each additional child is $25.  The fee covers meals, lodging and supplies used over the weekend.  Bed linens and sleeping bags are NOT provided.

To obtain a registration form on-line, visit LDWF’s website at

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/fun-camp or contact Karen Edwards at 318-766-8144 or kedwards@wlf.la.gov.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Whale Shark Tagging Expedition Deemed a Huge Success

Release Date: 09/21/2011

Whale Shark Tagging 1
Whale Shark Tagging 2
Whale Shark Tagging 3

Effort represents the largest number of individuals tagged at one time in the northern Gulf

(Sept. 21, 2011) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in a collaborative effort with several fisheries-based agencies, successfully tagged 10 whale sharks during two recent trips in the Gulf of Mexico.  This represents the largest number of whale sharks tagged at one time in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

The tagging effort is a joint venture between the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, National Marine Fisheries Service, Mississippi Laboratories, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, On the Wings of Care and LDWF.  The team is hoping the project will reveal precious information about the little-studied fish.

“Historical information on whale sharks in the northern Gulf of Mexico is lacking,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “We’ve had great success with many other fish tagging ventures and hope that this effort has similar results, providing a wealth of data to assist in the conservation of this species.”

Despite being the largest fish in the ocean, the whale shark is one of the most elusive animals to scientists due to their offshore, nomadic existence.  They are extremely difficult to find outside of a few known seasonal hotspots; therefore, obtaining data on this species is extremely challenging and expensive. 

“If the tags stay on for a significant amount of time, we will learn a great deal about how these sharks use the waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico, as well as where they go in the winter time, which is still a mystery to us,” said Dr. Eric Hoffmayer, a Research Fishery Biologist with NOAA Fisheries Service, who has been studying whale sharks in the northern Gulf for 10 years.  “It is still unclear whether whale sharks are residents in northern Gulf waters or simply seasonal migrants from the Caribbean Sea or beyond.  Hopefully the data acquired from these tags will shed some light onto this research question.”

One of the most accurate and useful tools for studying whale shark movements is telemetry, which involves attaching satellite transmitters to the sharks.  Other behavioral information beyond the shark’s movements can be inferred by assessing oceanic and physical conditions around the shark. 

The satellite tags provide temperature and depth data every 10 to 15 minutes as well as an estimated position each day for the duration of the tag.  The deployment periods for these tags ranged between four to 12 months.  In addition to the standard satellite tags, three position tags were also deployed, which send real-time location estimates to the satellite when the shark surfaces and the satellites are overhead.  These tags should report for up to six months. 

Funding for the satellite tags was provided by the International Foundation for Animal Welfare and World Wildlife Fund. 

“Another important factor contributing to the success of this project and our whale shark research over the years has been the participation by the public in our Whale Shark Sighting Survey,” said Jennifer McKinney, Research Technician with the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.  “After receiving several reports from the offshore community about whale sharks in region, we mobilized a trip to conduct the tagging.  Due to public participation, we knew exactly where to focus our efforts and therefore had great success.”

The Whale Shark Sighting Survey can be found at www.usm.edu/gcrl/whaleshark.  The survey has been an increasing success over the years, in which the general public has been actively involved in the whale shark research program through their participation. 

For more information about this species, please reference the following: Whale Shark Fact Sheet

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

The mission of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory is scientific discovery related to coastal and marine resources, development of new marine technologies, and the education of future scientists and citizens.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. For more information, visit us at www.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov, join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usnoaagov or follow us on  Twitter @usnoaagov.

Bonny Schumaker with On the Wings of Care, a non-profit agency, has provided aerial support for whale shark tagging trips since 2010.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113 or Kim Amendola at kim.amendola@noaa.gov (727) 551-5707.

WEEKLY eNEWS: Upcoming Events, Grants, Resources, & Volunteer Opportunities

A Compilation of Environmental Education News from Across Louisiana 

UPCOMING EVENTS

National Hunting & Fishing Day Outdoor Festival (September 24 – 9 am-3 pm)
FREE
Louisiana Game & Seafood Samples, Outdoor Exhibitors, Fishing Contest, Canoeing, Sports Shooting, Archery, Bowhunting Demonstrations, Fly Casting & Tying Demonstrations
FREE Admission & Parking!
Waddill Wildlife Refuge, 4142 North Flannery, Baton Rouge, La
Presented by: Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries Foundation
Sponsored By: The Advocate, American Awnings, Associated Grocers, Coca Cola, Sam’s Club
Please see attached flyer.

Sally Ride Science Festival (September 24 – 11 am-4:15 pm)
Former NASA Astronaut Wendy Lawrence will talk about her thrilling path to a career in science and her time spent in space during the highly anticipated keynote presentation! Presented by ExxonMobil, the Sally Ride Science Festival includes: discovery workshops for girls, which may be given by local veterinarians, astronomers, microbiologists and more; workshops for parents and teachers on ways to support girls' interests in science; a street fair with booths, hands-on activities, food, and music.
Festival will be held at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA on Saturday, September 24 from 11:00am to 4:15pm. Advanced Registration Required: Registration open until Thursday, September 22nd at 5pm Central - www.sallyridescience.com. Fee: $20. While our festivals are primarily focused on encouraging 5th-8th grade girls to pursue their interests in science, everyone is welcome to attend! Sign up now at www.sallyridefestivals.com or call us at 1.800.561.5161.

Explore-a-Seashore - Shark Fest (September 30-October 1)
The Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs, MS is introducing a new program for families (adults and their children over the age of 12). Explore-a-Seashore will take place on September 30 (classroom intro) and October 1 (research cruise) and will engage participants in GCRL research: Catch – Tag – Release – You are the scientist and THIS IS SHARK FEST!
Application and more information are available at http://www.usm.edu/gcrl/mec/shark.fest.php
Contact:  Martha Brown, martha.brown@usm.edu, 228-818-8833

Recycle-Bowl School Competition Information (Deadline: October 10)
Keep America Beautiful’s Recycle-Bowl competition for elementary, middle and high-school students was created to increase school recycling participation and teach students about recycling and environmental responsibility. The Competition Division is open to all U.S. schools. The competition runs from October 17 through November 12, culminating around America Recycles Day. The first 1000 schools to register in either the Competition or Open Division will receive a recycling toolkit loaded with recycling posters, a library book, a curriculum, activity booklets and a recycling “coach” t-shirt. Other downloadable educational resources can also be found on http://recycle-bowl.org. At the close of the four-week competition, the school in each state that collects the most recyclable material per capita will win $1,000. A national champion will then be chosen from among the statewide winners to receive an additional grand prize of $2,500. Registration is currently open through October 10th on the Recycle-Bowl website at http://recycle-bowl.org. The inaugural Recycle-Bowl is being sponsored by Nestlé Waters North America.
Please see attached information.

Enter Samsung's $1 Million Technology Competition (September 22, 2011-March 12, 2012)
Samsung and its partners are asking teachers to participate in its contest which will address a key academic challenge in our country: to increase the pursuit of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. With Samsung and schools joining together, we’re looking to foster interest in these subjects among students and illustrate the practical impact applying these subjects can have. Click here to for more information and to apply. Contest begins 8/22/11, ends 3/12/12.


GRANTS

EPA Accepting Applications for Environmental Education Sub-Grants Program (Deadline: November 8)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of $1.5 million in grant funding for the Environmental Education Sub-grants Program for 2011. The purpose of this competitive grant program is to increase environmental awareness and stewardship. EPA expects to award one (1) grant for approximately $150,000 in each of EPA’s ten (10) Regions and will accept applications until November 8, 2011. EPA will be hosting three conference calls for potential applicants interested in additional information about the application process. The conference call dates and times are listed below. To participate, dial the toll free number and enter the conference ID code. The call-in number for all three calls is: 1-866-246-5569.
          Sept. 22, 2011, 3:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (ID code:  97738763)
          Sept. 27, 2011, 2:00 pm EDT (ID code:  97740900)
          Sept. 30, 2011, 12.00 pm EDT (ID code:  97741103)
For more information on eligibility and application materials, visit: http://www.epa.gov/education/grants.html
For direct questions on the Environmental Education Sub-grants Program for 2011, send emails to: EEgrants@epa.gov

National Science Foundation Program Announcement: Discovery Research K-12
Directorate for Education & Human Resources Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings
Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time): November 17, 2011 and October 04, 2012
Full Proposal Deadline(s)
(due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time): January 10, 2012 and December 06, 2012
For full program information, visit: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11588/nsf11588.htm?WT.mc_id=USNSF_25&WT.mc_ev=click

Whole Foods New School Garden Grant (Deadline: December 31)
Whole Foods is giving away 1000 school garden grants valued at $2000.00 each. The application is online and is due December 31, 2011. Here is a link for the application and more information:  http://www.wholekidsfoundation.org/gardengrants.php


RESOURCES

The Human Solution to Water Pollution video makes its debut!  
Produced by the Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA) to supplement its educational stormwater programming, the video targets students in grades 5-8, but is appropriate for grade 4-adult. To view the video, click here: http://sscafca.com/cms.php/education/. SSCAFCA is dedicated to educating area students, adults, and the community on the issues of flood control and watershed management. This new video is featured in the RiverXchange curriculum. RiverXchange combines a year-long water resources curriculum with class partnerships through social networking technology.

“Our Mississippi”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ quarterly 12-page, full-color tabloid, “Our Mississippi,” covers a wide range of Mississippi River issues as well as stories on travel, archeology, nature exploration, and more. With a coverage area that stretches from the upper Mississippi region to the Gulf, the publication’s primary goal is to promote a balanced, sustainable use of the river and encourage greater appreciation of this national treasure. Past issues have featured kayak water trails, coastal restoration, navigating an icy winter river, the comeback of the otter, and river reforestation. It also includes a series of short profiles about people with a unique connection to the river, including storytellers, oyster farmers, eagle center staffers, mussel divers, and more. The “Our Mississippi Kids” page features child-oriented fun. Attached is the spring issue of the “Our Mississippi.” For more information or to subscribe, visit: http://www.ourmississippi.org

Information Exchange for Marine Educators
The information included in the attached document below has been compiled from many different sources, including EE-NEWS@NAAEE, scuttlebutt, EEinGEORGIA, the Scout Report, edinfo at FREE, and others. They have attempted to verify web addresses, but make no guarantee of accuracy. The Department of Commerce/NOAA does not necessarily endorse or promote the views or facts presented on these sites. If materials or respond to a request for information is requested, please mention that you learned about it in NOAA's Information Exchange. To subscribe to this distribution list, send a blank message to requests@willamette.nos.noaa.gov with “subscribe infoexchange” in the subject field. Similarly, to remove yourself from the list, send the subject “unsubscribe infoexchange”. Contact the editor directly at phyllis.dermer@noaa.gov , or by phone at (865) 932-5074, to discuss further enhancements or to contribute information for future issues.


VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY

Volunteers Needed to Plant Mangroves at Port Fourchon (September 24)
The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Edward Wisner Foundation invite volunteers to participate in a marsh restoration project along the impacted marshes of Port Fourchon. Volunteers are needed to plant 2,500 mangrove trees which will assist in stabilizing the marsh soils in the hopes of preventing future erosion.  This project coincides with National Estuaries Day. This nationwide event encourages volunteers to spend “a day on the bay” as part of an annual service celebrating the vibrant and essential habitats located where rivers meet the sea.
          Where: Port Fourchon Public Boat Launch
          When: Saturday September 24, 2011, 10 a.m. to no later than 4 p.m.
All equipment (gloves, shovels, dibbles, etc.), sunscreen, and bug spray will be provided.  Drinks and lunch will be provided to all volunteers. Minors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Old tennis shoes or knee boots are recommended. Comfortable clothes that can get dirty will be needed (a change of clothes and towel for the end of the day is also recommended). Please register online at the www.crcl.org or call the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana at (888)-LACOAST for more information.


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 http://lacoast.gov/calendar/


Venise Ortego, Environmental Education Coordinator, 337-948-0255, vortego@wlf.la.gov
Juliet Raffray, Environmental Education Assistant Coordinator, 225-765-0124, jraffray@wlf.la.gov
Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries – www.wlf.louisiana.gov/eec


 

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