By Bee Frederick, Southeastern States Director
On March 20, the Louisiana Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted a field trip in south Louisiana to educate legislators and their staff on the state’s delicate ecosystem and the positive impacts of sediment diversions from the Mississippi River on the coast and the marsh.
Louisiana’s coastal land is disappearing at an alarming rate of one football field every 100 minutes with roughly 1,900 square miles of land lost since the 1930s.
Caucus Co-Chairs Senators Francis Thompson and Gerald long as well as Representative Clay Schexnayder, and Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Southeastern States Director Bee Frederick attended the event, along with several other legislators and partner organizations.
Attendees discussed the historical context of the natural and manipulated flow of the Mississippi River; including associated impacts to the state’s marshland, as well as impact to the habitat of in-shore fish species, migratory birds, and various other species.
Following a morning of fishing and touring of the current landscape, The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority gave an overview of the Coastal Master Plan and specifically focused on how sediment diversion projects along the Mississippi River can be effective at rebuilding land. Sediment diversions simply move sediment and fresh water from the river into areas that previously received these nutrients from nature’s unaltered process to mimic natural land-building processes. These diversions are crucial to helping build new land and nourish existing, and new, wetlands through sediment such as sand and mud.
This field trip was hosted by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Vanishing Paradise, and Audubon Louisiana.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?