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  • Vanishing Paradise : Stories-gulf : Ducks Unlimited Urges Obama Administration To Speed Up Restoration Plans
    moment DU encourages the Administration to rapidly move forward with coastal restoration work planned under Louisiana s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast and also the Louisiana Coastal Area Plan which includes planned but presently unfunded restoration projects authorized under WRDA of 2007 Such work includes a variety of restoration projects that can help coastal wetlands recover from oil spill impacts and other impacts that have occurred over decades There are many projects for which design could be accelerated and many that are on the shelf ready for implementation said Dr Tom Moorman DU s lead scientist for the Gulf Coast Some of this work awaits only funding and could begin as soon as tomorrow The Gulf Coast region is of vital importance to North America s migratory waterfowl and other wetland dependent birds wintering as many as 13 million ducks in some years The livelihood of many of the region s residents depends upon the renewable natural resources provided by coastal wetlands including commercial and recreational fisheries The region also provides more than 250 000 waterfowl hunter days each year Restoration of the region s fragile wetlands and waterfowl habitats is essential and we urge the Administration to ensure that coastal restoration planning and implementation is accelerated to benefit the region s people and the waterfowl and other wildlife that depend on these wetlands Dr Moorman said Ducks Unlimited is the world s largest non profit organization dedicated to conserving North America s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats Established in 1937 Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today tomorrow and forever Lauren

    Original URL path: http://vanishingparadise.org/gulf-blog-feed/ducks-unlimited-urges-obama-administration-to-speed-up-restoration-plans/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Vanishing Paradise : Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan
    with organizing coastal protection and restoration efforts between local state and federal agencies The legislature also required CPRA to develop a plan to guide the efforts Considered a living document the Coastal Master Plan is required to be to be updated every five years Relying on coastal experts and the best available science to select prioritize and implement projects the plan puts forth an efficient realistic course forward in coastal restoration 2012 Coastal Master Plan Louisiana s 2012 Coastal Master Plan is a landmark 50 year 50 billion blueprint for a revived coast and secure future This plan drafted by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA was released in draft form in January 2012 and passed unanimously by the Louisiana legislature in April 2012 An unprecedented aspect of this plan is the proposal to divert half the flow of the Mississippi River back into the delta for restoration purposes restoring the river s capacity to build land and re establishing a vital natural process not just rebuilding natural habitat Also unprecedented is the proposal to invest almost 13 billion in measures that increase community resilience to flooding These measures including elevating and flood proofing homes protect flood prone property and allow communities to continue to live in close connection to a wetland based economy and culture 2017 Coastal Master Plan CPRA announced that the 2017 Coastal Master Plan will build off the efforts of the previous plans but will also consider a variety of new projects not evaluated in 2012 plan Recent improvements in evaluations tools will also provide a deeper understanding of current conditions and what to expect over the coming decades Look for more details as the process unfolds Discover the Delta How the Delta Was Formed What Went Wrong Priority Projects How To Help Search Join

    Original URL path: http://vanishingparadise.org/louisiana-coastal-master-plan (2016-04-30)
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  • Vanishing Paradise : Articles : New Study Confirms Significant Land Loss Along Louisiana Coast
    decision makers can make informed choices about how to actively manage the land to help reduce future loss Phil Turnipseed USGS National Wetlands Research Center director said We can t manage what we don t measure Louisiana land loss accounts for nearly 90 percent of the total coastal marsh loss in the contiguous U S Much of the land loss is caused by depriving the marshes within the Mississippi River delta of sediment Dams levees and channels along the Mississippi River and its tributaries have cut off the source of land building sediment responsible for forming and sustaining coastal marshes But there is hope The U S Army Corps of Engineers diverts 30 percent of the Mississippi River through the Atchafalaya River system and its delta is growing The Atchafalaya and Wax Lake Deltas have grown significantly since the 1970s proving land building is still possible when freshwater and sediments are allowed to flow into adjacent wetlands Ducks Unlimited has long advocated for sustainable ecosystem restoration of the Mississippi River Delta by reconnecting the river to its marshes Dew said This study further demonstrates the strength of that solution The Gulf Coast winters 40 percent of the continent s waterfowl population and boasts some of the best waterfowl hunting in the country For that reason coastal restoration is a top priority for Ducks Unlimited We know we ve already lost 1 2 million acres of this important area which is home to the largest population of wintering waterfowl in North America We have a duty to address this national scale catastrophe a duty to our children and their children Dew said The loss of Gulf Coast habitat is one of the most significant threats to waterfowl on the continent and everyone has a stake in the outcome Ducks Unlimited is

    Original URL path: http://vanishingparadise.org/will-not-appear-on-front-page/new-study-confirms-significant-land-loss-along-louisiana-coast/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Vanishing Paradise : VP In The News : Outdoor Life: The Biggest Habitat Catastrophe You've Never Heard Of
    southern Louisiana This threat doesn t garner many headlines yet should be at the forefront of our collective thoughts as sportsmen Each year a chunk of land about the size of Manhattan turns into open water in Louisiana and fishermen and hunters across the nation have a huge stake in first stopping and then reversing the alarming loss of habitat For the more than 10 million ducks and geese wintering in these fertile marshes to the world class inshore and offshore fisheries Louisiana s coastal wetlands are the key to sustaining Mississippi Flyway hunting and abundant Gulf Coast recreational fishing No less significant these wetlands serve as a natural barrier for coastal communities protecting the Gulf region from storms read about the Restore Act here Their overall health and vitality makes the entire system better able to withstand an assault like the BP oil spill Read the rest of The Biggest Habitat Catastrophe You ve Never Heard Of on Outdoor Life s website newer older Search Join VP on Recent Blogs 04 27 16 The Bonnet Carré Provides Plenty of Recreational Opportunities 04 14 16 Register for Conservation on Tap April 20th 04 06 16 Florida Bay A Vision of

    Original URL path: http://vanishingparadise.org/in-the-news/the-biggest-habitat-catastrophe-youve-never-heard-of/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Vanishing Paradise : News & Updates : Bijou Blowout
    Star Outdoor News in Texas you get the picture These outdoor writers among other writers in attendance provide a well vetted gateway to the nation s hunters and anglers folks who care about the quality of habitat in the coastal wetlands and understand the significance of these wetlands to our hunting and fishing heritage Fishermen and hunters across the nation have a stake in the rapid loss of Louisiana s coastal wetlands For the more than 10 million ducks and geese wintering in the fertile marshes to the world class inshore and offshore fisheries Louisiana s coastal wetlands are the key to sustaining Mississippi Flyway hunting and abundant Gulf Coast recreational fishing The area is at great risk As we cruised the grasslands of the marsh and gazed upon the sporadic ghost trees the last remnants of once great cypress forests our day s dialogue pondered what losing the vast resource could mean Conversation was broken up by the explosive strikes of bronze backed redfish reminding us of the great opportunities currently at hand and those opportunities at risk as the marsh recedes and the habitat declines Afternoons back at Theophile Bourgeois Cajun Vista Inn brought the message full circle as resource managers from Louisiana highlighted the struggles and successes of their fight to restore the wetlands A common unfortunate message pointed to the roadblocks of working with the Army Corps of Engineers The future of the wetlands rests in sportsmen s ability to create action and a sense of urgency through the political process This is where the Vanishing Paradise campaign comes into play By uniting sportsmen throughout the Mississippi Flyway and across the country to speak up for one the greatest fisheries on the planet as well as the millions of ducks and geese the use this area

    Original URL path: http://vanishingparadise.org/updates/bijou-blowout/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Vanishing Paradise : News & Updates : Fall Fishing In The West Bay Diversion
    and geologic reasons and bad agreements that West Bay needed to be closed in 2013 Vanishing Paradise Louisiana Wildlife Federation and conservation organizations across the country argued vehemently against that decision and lobbied to have it overturned Thankfully for those who have watched the diversion become a fishing hot spot and more importantly build several acres of land in the last four years CWPPRA listened to the pleas of conservation organizations and the decision to close the West Bay project was reversed October 11 2012 Four years ago CWPPRA was forced to spend millions on dredging because of an agreement signed more than a decade ago by the State of Louisiana and the Army Corps of Engineers The agreement basically made the CWPPRA program responsible for paying dredging costs for any induced shoaling in the Mississippi River caused by the diversion Induced shoaling is a more technical way of saying the diversion causes sediment to pile up in the river Shoaling caused by West Bay is particularly troubling to riverboat pilots because of impacts to an area known as the Pilottown Anchorage which is used by deep draft vessels as refuge and safe harbor adjacent to the main navigation channel By Congressional rules the Corps of Engineers cannot dredge an anchorage only the main channel The cost to CWPPRA to dredge the anchorage has been in the 10 20 million range per dredging cycle and there have been two cycles That s a lot of money for a program that only gets about 80 million per year to spend on projects across Louisiana s coast Closing it seemed a fiscally prudent albeit controversial and short sighted decision four years ago The project wasn t living up to its land building expectations thanks in large part to massive erosion caused by Hurricanes Katrina Rita Gustav and Ike and the slow geologic process of river delta formation Riverboat pilots had lost their anchorage and said it was entirely because of the diversion And CWPPRA was out millions that could have been spent on better performing less controversial projects Then in 2008 and 2011 Mother Nature buried that prudent decision in neck deep mud Record Mississippi River floods poured millions of tons of sediment through the diversion and into the adjacent bay With a little help from strategically placed soil dredged from the anchorage land began to emerge at West Bay followed shortly by grass and more land New land emerges at the West Bay Diversion Photo by eustatic via Flickr Then two separate examinations of the lower Mississippi conducted by both the state and corps showed the diversion was only responsible for about 20 25 percent of the shoaling in the anchorage The studies also pointed out the area had been silting in for more than 20 years prior to opening the diversion and would continue even if West Bay was shut down The new evidence and what was becoming a nightmarish public relations battle forced CWPPRA to revisit the decision to

    Original URL path: http://vanishingparadise.org/updates/fall-fishing-in-the-west-bay-diversion/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Vanishing Paradise : News & Updates : Lake Pontchartrain's Best Kept Secret
    nearly 16 million in pumping sediment from the bottom of Lake Pontchartrain onshore to restore and replenish nearly 600 acres of shoreline and marsh between Mandeville and Slidell The project is officially named the Goose Point Point Platte Marsh Creation Project It was completed in February of 2009 after new marsh was built both east and west of the mouth of Bayou Lacombe and enough shoreline was fortified to provide protection to an additional 1400 acres of wetlands CWPPRA has been working to build restoration projects like the one at Goose Point across coastal Louisiana for more than two decades and has built 10 projects in the Pontchartrain basin in that time all restoring critical fish and wildlife habitat and the area s natural hydrology Before the restoration effort at Goose Point decades of slow erosion along the lake s rim had allowed saltier water to intrude into what were once mostly freshwater marshes As the saltwater made its way deeper into the marshes and killed vegetation small ponds turned into larger and larger lakes The open water areas expanded gradually each year and more rapidly as hurricanes and tropical storms sent saltwater farther inland and battered the marshes with high waves John Lopez executive director of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation said restoring the marshes around Goose Point and Bayou Lacombe has had immediate benefits for the overall health of a variety of fish and wildlife in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin The speckled trout and redfish and other popular sportfish certainly benefit from these healthy marshes he said But looking at other species can give you a good idea of how healthy the system is We have great crabbing in Lake Pontchartrain and those crabs rely on healthy marshes all around the lake Plus we see a lot of ducks spend the winter in the Lake Pontchartrain area The big rafts of Dos Gris you see out in the lake feeding during the winter spend the night in the protection of those marshes around Goose Point as do other ducks like teal and gadwall Capt Greg Schlumbrecht of To Fish Charters makes his living in search of speckled trout redfish and flounder in Lake Pontchartrain On his days off during the late fall and winter he hunts the marshes along the lake s north shore as well He said he s noticed an improvement in duck and fish habitat since the marsh creation project though construction has led to some short term inconveniences A lot of the deeper lakes in the Big Branch area where we used to paddle around in pirogues to duck hunt were made much much shallower by the restoration project and we can t get back into some of the areas we used to Schlumbrecht said It s taken away some areas but you can see the benefits because the grass has come back and is very thick That grass is food for the ducks and where the young redfish and speckled trout go to

    Original URL path: http://vanishingparadise.org/updates/lake-pontchartrains-best-kept-secret/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Vanishing Paradise : Key Principles Of Restoration
    Atchafalaya River to 30 percent of the combined flow of the two rivers Instead we should manage both rivers based on an ecologically sound plan for sustaining and restoring the coastal wetlands while meeting the needs of the shipping industry Protect shorelines with oyster reefs Oyster reefs are not just a great place to catch fish these living reefs absorb wave action from storms provide high quality habitat for fish and birds improve water quality and cast off old shells that naturally armor the coast and prevent erosion Additionally oyster reefs can grow to keep up with sea level rise Protect and restore barrier islands Barrier islands define the outer limits of the estuary and help maintain the transition from fresh water to salt water important for so many species Barrier islands are the first line of defense against storm surge and dampen damaging storm waves before they reach the coast Many barrier islands are eroding rapidly and in some cases this erosion was made worse when the oil spill damaged marsh vegetation on the islands Reconnect the Mississippi River to its delta The Mississippi River s seasonal flooding created the delta over thousands of years Strategically placed sediment diversions can mimic the river s natural processes in a controlled fashion and restore existing wetlands while building new land The proof that this can be done lies in a flood control channel called the Wax Lake Outlet that has albeit unintentionally built a five mile long delta since its creation in 1942 As many as 200 000 waterfowl have been spotted in the Wax Lake Delta on a single day Use sediment to build land For the coast to survive every bit of sediment in the river must be used effectively Every year 22 million cubic yards of sand and

    Original URL path: http://vanishingparadise.org/key-principles-of-restoration/ (2016-04-30)
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