WEEKLY eNEWS: Events, Volunteer Opportunities, Nominations, Contests, Workshops, Resources, Public Comment

A Compilation of Environmental Education News from Across Louisiana

EVENTS

2012 Environmental Education Symposium – March 9-10, 2012
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION ENDS FEBRUARY 10TH

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 on March 9-10, 2012.
All Symposium exhibitor forms, registration forms, and related information can be found on our website: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/environmental-education-symposium
For more information: Venise Ortego, EE Coordinator, 337-948-0255, vortego@wlf.la.gov


VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Community Outreach Dune Restoration Events in Texas
Our dunes need help recovering from the devastating effects of Ike in addition to constant erosion from man and natural causes! Opportunity for the community to engage as coastal stewards through planting a variety of native dune plants which include seaoats, bitter panicum, railroad vine, sea purslane, and marsh-hay cordgrass. Learn about the functions of our dunes which not only serve as physical barrier protection, but as essential habitat to a variety of species including nests for the endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle and the Wilson’s plover.
     Saturday February 3 @ Galveston Island State Park, 8 am-noon
     Saturday February 18 @ Galveston Island West End, 8 am-noon
     Saturday March 4 @ Galveston Island State Park, 8 am-noon
To register, call or email Artist Boat at (409) 770-0722 or email: info@artistboat.org.

Volunteers Needed
The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Jean Lafitte National Park invite you to participate in a cypress planting project along the Bayou Segnette Waterway in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.  The objective of the project is to protect marsh ecosystems from erosion threats and from invasion by the exotic Chinese tallow tree. Volunteers will plant 100 cypress trees and wrap the trees in a protector to keep them safe from predation.
     When: Monday, February 6th from 9:00 a.m. to no later than 4:30 p.m.
     Where: Jean Lafitte Historic National Park & Preserve, Jones Point Boat Launch (9706 Barataria Blvd, Marrero, LA 70072)
If any interested volunteers would also like to provide their boat for this event, please email Hilary Collis at hilaryc@crcl.org. All planting equipment (gloves, shovels, etc.), lunch, and refreshments will be provided. All volunteers must register with the Coalition to attend the event! Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age. Register online at www.crcl.org or by calling (888) LACOAST.


NOMINATIONS

2012 Coastal Stewardship Awards Nominations (Deadline: February 3)
The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana will host the 17th annual Coastal Stewardship Awards Program on Friday, April 13, 2012 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 www.CRCL.org. For more information, contact CRCL at 1-888-LACOAST (1-888-522-6278). All nominations must be received by February 3, 2012.

CWPPRA PPL 22 Project Nominee Factsheets and Presentations (Deadline: February 3)
CWPPRA PPL 22 Project Nominee Factsheets and Presentations proposed are available at the following link: http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/pd/cwppra_mission.htm. RPTs will select PPL 22 nominees at the Coastwide Voting meeting on February 15, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (Louisiana Room), 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The RPTs will select three projects in the Terrebonne, Barataria, and Pontchartrain Basins; two projects in the Breton Sound, Teche/Vermilion, Mermentau, Calcasieu/Sabine, and Mississippi River Delta Basins; and one project will be selected in the Atchafalaya Basin. The RPTs will select one coastwide project nominee. In addition, the RPTs will select six demonstration projects for further evaluation. No additional projects will be nominated at the Coastwide Voting meeting, nor will any significant changes to projects proposed at the January meetings be allowed. No additional public comments will be accepted at the Coastwide Voting meeting. Public comments were heard during the RPT meetings and additional written comments may be provided no later than February 3, 2012 by mail, fax or email to: Colonel Edward R. Fleming, District Engineer, New Orleans c/o: Brad Inman, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, P.O. Box 60267, New Orleans, Louisiana; Fax: 504-862-2572; Brad.L.Inman@usace.army.mil

Call for Abstracts (Deadline: February 10)
State of the Coast encourages all individuals interested in Louisiana’s coastal restoration and protection activities to submit an abstract for oral or poster presentation at our June 2012 conference in New Orleans. For more information on submitting your abstract, click here. State of the Coast 2012 will gather hundreds of scientists, business leaders, federal and state agency personnel, elected officials, land owners and interested citizens for the largest forum of its kind, focused entirely on Louisiana’s coastal restoration challenges and solutions. Deadline for Abstract Submittal – February 10, 2012


CONTESTS

Deadline Extension for The 2012 DuPont Challenge!
The deadline for submissions to The 2012 DuPont Challenge has been EXTENDED to: Tuesday, February 7. Submit your science essay before the end of that day through the Official Entry Form

2012 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program Begins in Louisiana (Deadline: March 15)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sponsors the annual Federal Junior Duck Stamp Art Competition. The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program (JDS) is a dynamic arts curriculum that teaches wetlands and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school. The program incorporates scientific and wildlife management principles into a visual arts curriculum with participants completing a JDS design as their visual “term paper”. Entries are judged by a panel of five judges including both waterfowl biologists and artists. Monies raised by the sale of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp help support conservation of wetland habitats for waterfowl and many other species of wildlife. This contest is open to public, private, and home schooled students. Entries are due March 15, 2012. Contest information and forms are found on-line at www.fws.gov/juniorduck/States/Louisiana.htm or www.fws.gov/juniorduck. For more information, contact Jean Mikeal, Louisiana State Program Coordinator, at (318) 574-2664 ext. 103.


WORKSHOPS

Coastal Lines of Defense Field Workshops
The UNO Coastal Education program is offering a series of field-based learning opportunities for both teachers and students at their field station (Coastal Education and Research Facility - CERF) located at Chef Menteur Pass in Orleans Parish. The topic is the Coastal Lines of Defense concept which is a way of approaching the important topic of coastal protection and restoration in Louisiana. The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (www.saveourlake.org) introduced this idea to the public shortly after Hurricane Katrina when everyone's thoughts were focused on the safety of life in coastal Louisiana and New Orleans. More can be learned by visiting http://coastallinesofdefense.org/ and http://www.mlods.org/
A second Educators' Workshop will be offered on Saturday February 25, 2012 from 9am-3pm at CERF, located at 21000 Chef Menteur Highway in the Lake Catherine community and on the "Orleans Land Bridge" which is itself one of the Lines of Defense discussed in their workshop.
Teachers of all grades are encouraged to consider scheduling a field trip for their students at CERF during this semester. More information about CERF and their education programs is at www.pies.uno.edu/education.
Contact: Dinah at (504) 280-1374 or (504) 669-1893, dmaygard@uno.edu  r Heather at (504) 280-4042 or (504) 451-1582, hlgordon@uno.edu

Underrepresented Populations and Marine Science Opportunity
The University of Md Eastern Shore (http://www.umes.edu/) has begun enrollment for their annual Teacher Development Workshop (grades 6–12) to be held July 15–July 28, 2012. Funding for this program comes from a 5 year, $5m NSF CREST grant and aims to provide marine science research and educational opportunities to under-represented populations. The program is open to all. Free on campus housing, meals, course credit or a stipend and a travel expense allowance will be provided. UMES is located in Princess Anne, MD, Somerset County (http://www.townofprincessanne.com/) and instruction will take place both on campus and in Paul S. Sarbanes Coastal Ecology Center near Assateague Island in Berlin, Md (http://www.umes.edu/psscec/Default.aspx?id=32558). For more information regarding the workshop and the CREST grant, visit: http://www.umes.edu/CREST/Default.aspx?id=33372


RESOURCES

PhET Simulations Provide Interactive Learning Tools
PhET provides fun, interactive, research-based simulations of physical phenomena for free. To help students visually comprehend concepts, PhET simulations animate what is invisible to the eye through the use of graphics and intuitive controls such as click-and-drag manipulation, sliders and radio buttons. In order to further encourage quantitative exploration, the simulations also offer measurement instruments including rulers, stop-watches, voltmeters and thermometers. As the user manipulates these interactive tools, responses are immediately animated thus effectively illustrating cause-and-effect relationships as well as multiple linked representations (motion of the objects, graphs, number readouts, etc.). All PhET simulations are freely available from the PhET website and are easy to use and incorporate into the classroom.

Costa Concordia Capsizing
Be sure to check out the new IcEarth image and information on the Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Capsizing. It includes a Worldview-1 satellite image courtesy of DigitalGlobe, information on the ship, the Island of Giglio, two student activities, and a linkage to other explorations.  IcEarth is developed by the WETMAAP program to provide imagery and maps for education.  
IcEarth: http://icearth.cnlworld.org/index.php?eventID=25
WETMAAP: http://wetmaap.org

Data Collection App for Tarpon
Download the Tarpon Master App for your iPhone today so you can help assist the Southeastern Wildlife Conservation Group with data collection in support of Tarpon Research along the Alabama and Mississippi Gulf Coasts. Tarpon Master includes Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Tarpon weight calculator and allows you to capture the following information on your Tarpon catches so you always have them with you: length, girth, weight, location, detailed location notes, DNA sample, fly/lure/bait, miscellaneous notes, and photos. You can directly e-mail your Tarpon catch information with or without photos to the Southeastern Wildlife Conservation Group (mark.langner@swcgroup.org) so we can use such data to help support the conservation and research efforts of the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust. Tarpon Master is available in two levels, full and lite. The lite version will allow you to calculate 5 fish so that you can experience what the


PUBLIC COMMENT REQUESTED

National Ocean Policy Draft Implementation Plan (Deadline: February 27)
Input is currently being sought on the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan, recently released for public comment. As part of President Obama's National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes, the National Ocean Council has released a draft National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan to address some of the most pressing challenges facing the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. The draft Implementation Plan describes more than 50 actions the Federal Government will take to improve the health of the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes, which support tens of millions of jobs, contribute trillions of dollars a year to the national economy, and are essential to public health and national security. The draft Implementation Plan will ensure the Federal Government targets limited resources more effectively to deliver demonstrable results for the American people, including predictability for users, more efficient and coordinated decision-making, and improved sharing of data and technology. For each action, the Plan outlines key milestones, identifies responsible agencies, and indicates the expected timeframe for completion.
Click on this link to read the draft Implementation Plan: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ceq/national_ocean_policy_draft_implementation_plan_01-12-12.pdf
Click here to provide comments on the draft Implementation Plan. The public comment period is open until midnight EST, February 27, 2012: http://www.whitehouse.gov/webform/submit-comments-draft-implementation-plan

National Climate Adaptation Strategy out for Public Comment (Deadline: March 5)
In partnership with state, tribal, and federal agency partners, the Obama Administration has released the first draft national strategy to help decision makers and resource managers prepare for and help reduce the impacts of climate change on species, ecosystems, and the people and economies that depend on them. The strategy represents a draft framework for unified action to safeguard fish, wildlife and plants, as well as the important benefits and services the natural world provides the nation every day, including jobs, food, clean water and air, storm protection, and recreation. The draft National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy is available for public review and comment through March 5, 2012, at the web site www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov. The site provides information on submitting comments, and the dates/locations of five public information sessions and two webinars designed to provide details and encourage dialogue on the strategy and its development. To register for these meetings and for more information on the public comment process, visit http://www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov/public-comments.php


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