Release Date: 03/07/2006

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will join forces with other state agencies again this year to support the Keep Louisiana Beautiful (KLB) Zero Tolerance For Litter campaign, March 10-12.  The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission urged support for the campaign in a proclamation presented at todays commission meeting in Baton Rouge.

At a time when many parishes are still recovering from hurricane damage and facing massive clean-up efforts for many months to come, all Louisiana citizens should make every effort to minimize the blight of litter that results from simple carelessness, said LDWFs Enforcement Division Col. Winton Vidrine.  Our agents will focus on areas used by boaters, fishermen and those who use our wildlife management areas.

Zero Tolerance weekend will include a statewide media campaign with this years theme emphasizing Dont Put It Down.  In addition to LDWF and State Police, law
enforcement agencies across the state are working with KLB and implementing Zero Tolerance weekend policies within their own jurisdictions.  The campaign points out personal litter control guidelines that all citizens should follow such as cleaning out truck beds on a regular basis, and refrain from throwing cigarette butts or other trash out car windows or from watercraft.

Keep Louisiana Beautiful is fortunate to have many partners in this campaign who are committed to reducing our very visible litter problem and its negative impact, said KLB Executive Director Leigh Harris.  We intend to target those who are littering, whether deliberately or unintentionally, and to fine them.  But law enforcement cant do it alone.  Every citizen needs to be involved.

If citizens do witness littering or illegal dumping violations, they are urged to call the state anti-litter hotline at 1-888-LIT-R-BUG (1-888-548-7284).

Littering is categorized in two ways: Intentional littering is intentionally disposing of litter in a public place or on private property not owned by the offender.  Intentional littering can result in fines of $250 and eight hours of community service in a litter abatement program.

Simple littering includes creating a condition in which the person knew (or should have known) would likely result in the disposal of litter on public or private property not belonging to the offender.  Using a truck bed as a garbage can or throwing a cigarette butt out a window is simple littering.  Fines for simple littering start at either $75 or eight hours of community service.  Penalties are doubled for second-time offenders.

Keep Louisiana Beautiful is a volunteer-based service organization dedicated to litter reduction through education, enforcement and cleanups.  Raymond Blanco is honorary chair of the organization, and Keep Louisiana Beautiful partners include the Governors Office of Environmental Education, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Transportation and Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Department of Corrections, State Police and LDWF.

Additional information on Keep Louisiana Beautiful and its efforts can be found at http://www.KeepLouisianaBeautiful.org

To find out more about Zero Tolerance for Litter Weekend, contact Maj. Jeff Mayne at 225-765-2980 or jmayne@wlf.louisiana.gov, or  Leigh Harris at Keep Louisiana Beautiful at 225-752-7446.

EDITORS: For more information, contact Maj. Jeff Mayne at 225-765-2980 or jmayne@wlf.louisiana.gov.