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  • Vanishing Paradise : Stories-gulf : Why Estuaries Matter To Sportsmen
    bar built estuaries They are otherwise found upstream Spotted sea trout or specks which swim in different salinities depending on the water During summer months they follow their prey into the saltier shallows of estuaries When the temperature drops they move into deeper Gulf waters When it s hot they can be found in most inshore spots across the Gulf This is not to say that estuarine species are limited to fish Brackish basins become brackish greenery like wetlands and seagrass beds which are critical spots for literally thousands of breeding and migrating waterfowl Every winter Louisiana alone hosts over half of ducks and geese from the Mississippi flyways Waterfowl from the Prairie Pothole and Great Lakes regions like watery but non forested environments Louisiana s rolling marshes are therefore a good winter fit for Gadwalls a favorite among duck hunters They are aquatic grazers meaning they feed primarily on submerged and in this case brackish vegetation like sedges widgeon grass and wild celery Rather than diving deep for their food these fowl forage for greens in the muddy areas close to the shoreline In Louisiana this means the wetlands All the land in the state was once under and is still fed by the river and the Gulf This makes all vegetation and the supporting soil a reflection of the closest water s salinity American Wigeons also like wetland plants Louisiana s just salty enough estuaries have the additional plus of keeping waterfowl warm during the cold migratory months Louisiana s winter guests also include blue winged teal which breed by the hundreds on the fresher river most estuary ends and pintails which feed on estuary plant seeds as well as the plants themselves As a whole the state hosts over 10 million ducks and geese annually Meanwhile Texas s seagrass filled Laguna Madre hosts over half of North America s redheaded ducks every winter Mallards the most common duck in the nation are found in Alabama s and Florida s estuaries from September to March and canvasback ducks spend their winters diving into the Mississippi Sound for food Many tourists like our coast for summer warmth but no time of year brings in these avian guests like the chilly months There s also the economy The Gulf s estuaries are the lifeblood of regional communities and businesses with sportsmen and women bringing in an annual 12 billion Meanwhile hunting in all five states takes up over 11 million acres of protected lands annually and the region as a whole is responsible for 40 percent of the seafood in the nation Hunters and anglers are also key figures in the outdoor education sector with wildlife tourism alone bringing in an annual 5 billion In total healthy basins along our coast ultimately enable a good 113 000 jobs What we re getting at is that estuaries these flexible ecosystems matter in a big way They have anchored settlements for literally millennia from ancient Egypt at the foot of the Nile

    Original URL path: http://vanishingparadise.org/gulf-blog-feed/why-estuarie/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Vanishing Paradise : News & Updates : Vanishing Paradise Brings Conservation Message To 2016 SHOT Show
    oil spill are spent on a range of effective science based restoration solutions And while the show is primarily a place for industry to do its business including distribution annual buys highlighting innovation and promotion it also caters to nearly 2 500 outdoor media Pittman Robertson PR excise taxes on firearms and ammo drive conservation funding so it makes sense that this confluence of industry and conservation would pay attention to Gulf Coast restoration to ensure its investment in conservation pays off for habitat wildlife and sportsmen whose heritage rely on the health of ecosystems We spent time with our great partners at SportingDog Adventures These guys have gone above and beyond partnering with Vanishing Paradise in dedicating a conservation component to each of their high quality hunting shows If you ve never seen the show click here to find the schedule and other information Vanishing Paradise is proudly featured in many of their Conservation Corner highlighting the need for habitat restoration in Louisiana and across the Gulf Coast And while we met with numerous outdoor writers and publications it s important to highlight those that have shown a true commitment to coastal restoration Louisiana Sportsman Field and Stream Outdoor Life Outdoor Hub Outdoor Wire Scoutlook OutdoorChannel com and Lone Star Outdoor News just to name a few Some of the supporting manufacturers include Top Brass RealTree Camo WileyX Sunglasses Plano Synergy and Tenzing SHOT show 2016 Conservation Roundtable Photo Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Vanishing Paradise also met with the top conservation organizations in the country thanks to a meeting hosted by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership TRCP The round table included representatives from U S Fish and Wildlife Agency Florida Fish Wildlife Conservation Commission Field and Stream Outdoor Life Mule Deer Foundation Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation RMEF Backcountry Hunters

    Original URL path: http://vanishingparadise.org/updates/vanishing-paradise-brings-conservation-message-to-2016-shot-show/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Vanishing Paradise : News & Updates : A Year Of Coastal Restoration Milestones
    backed by real dollars that weren t available prior to the settlement Photo courtesy of the Louisiana Governor s Office In Louisiana Next steps for Louisiana s first sediment diversions announced Louisiana s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority CPRA recommended pdf advancing both the Mid Barataria and Mid Breton sediment diversion projects in the Coastal Master Plan which will reintroduce fresh water and sediment from the Mississippi River into its surrounding collapsing wetlands and rebuild land over time We appreciate this important step toward getting diversions up and running because they provide the best opportunity to rebuild crucial habitat for fish waterfowl and other wildlife These two projects are based on the most current and best available science and mimic natural processes Without building new land future generations will not enjoy the same hunting and fishing opportunities in Sportsmen s Paradise that we do today LA 1 Huge win for protecting coastal restoration funding In October Governor Jindal proposed that the CPRA Board redirect money from the Coastal Master Plan to fund the elevation of Louisiana Highway 1 Coastal conservation advocacy groups including our friends at the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition united against this proposal With a flurry of last minute decisions a better alternative was reached The Board replaced the draft resolution with one directing CPRA staff to develop a prioritization process for coastal infrastructure projects that could spend up to 10 of available funds under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act GOMESA GOMESA has already authorized such spending up to 10 and this is an appropriate use of those dollars We are thankful that funds dedicated for coastal restoration were kept right where they should be not redirected to other projects Polls show voter support for coastal restoration Encouraging news a poll of likely Louisiana voters showed that nearly 94 percent of respondents valued a candidate s commitment to protect and restore coastal Louisiana An overwhelming majority 90 percent said they want the next governor to ensure funds currently dedicated to coastal restoration are not spent on anything but coastal restoration and 87 percent want the next governor to work to identify and secure additional funding for future projects identified in the state s Coastal Master Plan Across the board the poll found tremendous statewide support for coastal restoration 85 percent believe restoration of coastal Louisiana should be a high priority for the new governor 95 percent want the new governor to commit to move quickly and get started building coastal restoration projects 78 percent believe protecting and restoring coastal Louisiana is as important as other issues facing the state 97 percent say Louisiana s coastal areas and wetlands are important to them personally Two thirds 66 percent indicate support for river diversions to build new land in Louisiana Louisiana s newly elected governor made strong commitments Additionally in Governor elect John Bel Edwards recently wrote in response to handling key coastal issues while in office I look forward to working with stakeholders to ensure

    Original URL path: http://vanishingparadise.org/updates/a-year-of-coastal-restoration-milestones/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Vanishing Paradise : Search Results
    again 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 Paradise in Decline Vanishing Paradise was launched in 2009 by Ducks Unlimited and National Wildlife Federation to advocate for restoration of the Mississippi River Delta by nationalizing the issue The Vanishing Paradise team remains

    Original URL path: http://vanishingparadise.org/search (2016-04-30)
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  • Vanishing Paradise : How The Delta Was Formed
    delta lobe created over a period of around 1 000 2 000 years as the river carries sediments from the interior of the continent and deposits them near its mouth in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico When enough sediment stacks up underwater plants begin to grow and even more sediment and organic materials accumulate as plant communities thrive and develop As the delta lobe continues to build the river s path to the Gulf becomes longer and more difficult In response the river finally changes course abandoning the older lobe and cutting a shorter route to the Gulf starting the process again These abandoned lobes gradually sink and erode forming extremely productive estuaries that attract fish waterfowl and other wildlife and leaving barrier island arcs behind to mark their former extent New lobes form with the river s new route building up new land for marsh plants and trees to take hold This constant ebb and flow creates a dynamic and ever changing mosaic of habitats and natural resources A natural delta exists in a state of constant change Today the delta s natural cycles of change have been ground almost to a halt by human activities laying the groundwork for today s ecological collapse Learn more The river s powerful land building force must be allowed to rebuild and restore the Mississippi River Delta This reconnecting of the river to its delta requires a scientifically grounded package of federal and state polices and restoration projects Related Information The Importance of Wetlands Wide Open Bull Reds a Testament to the Delta Discover the Delta How the Delta Was Formed What Went Wrong Priority Projects How To Help Search Join VP on Recent Blogs 04 27 16 The Bonnet Carré Provides Plenty of Recreational Opportunities 04 14 16

    Original URL path: http://vanishingparadise.org/how-the-delta-was-formed (2016-04-30)
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  • Vanishing Paradise : What Went Wrong
    a highway for salt water intrusion Over the decades these activities have directly impacted thousands of acres of coastal wetlands speeding up erosion Subsidence Land formed by river sediments naturally subsides and sinks over time Historically sediment deposition and build up from plant growth outpaced the natural subsidence resulting in coastal land gain Without land building deposits from the river subsidence dominates and massive areas of land are sinking below sea level and disappearing Hurricanes Storm surge from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed hundreds of square miles of coastal wetlands The continued loss of wetlands will make coastal communities such as New Orleans even more vulnerable to storms Dams Upriver Valuable land building sediments are trapped behind locks and dams on the Missouri Mississippi and Ohio Rivers Since 1850 the amount of sediment in the Lower Mississippi River has decreased by more than 70 percent Sea level rise Scientists say that the level of the world s oceans will rise from one to three feet over the next century Rising seas combined with subsiding land called relative sea level rise makes the threat of submergence even greater for the Mississippi River Delta When wetlands receive sufficient sediment from the river they can stay above the rising seas Nutria These fast breeding voracious rodents were introduced into Louisiana for the fur trade but their impact on coastal wetlands has been disastrous They burrow into the ground eat the roots of marsh plants and devour cypress seedlings harming wetlands as they go 2010 Gulf oil spill The BP Macondo well spewed 206 million gallons of oil into the Gulf affecting hundreds of miles of delicate shoreline thousands of acres of coastal marsh and disrupting the communities economy and wildlife of the coast The spill will continue to impact the coast and its

    Original URL path: http://vanishingparadise.org/what-went-wrong/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Vanishing Paradise : Priority Projects For Coastal Louisiana
    levee system The priority projects selected for this basin reintroduce sediment and freshwater flows from the river to slow the rate of land loss strengthen soils and build new land in the mid basin Mid Breton Sediment Diversion and in the lower basin Lower Breton Sediment Diversion Two projects the Bayou la Loutre Ridge restoration and the Biloxi Marsh Oyster Reef will provide natural structural protection by reducing wave and tidal energy thus prolonging the life of the marshes while providing habitats for fish on the reef Learn more Barataria Basin Projects Mid Barataria Sediment Diversion Lower Barataria Sediment Diversion Barataria Land Bridge Large Scale Marsh Creation via Sediment Conveyance Pipeline West Barataria Pass to Sandy Point Barrier Island Restoration Belle Pass to Caminada Pass Barrier Island Restoration The Barataria Basin is one of the nation s most productive estuaries However starved of sediment habitats throughout the estuary system are collapsing The restoration projects in this basin can work in concert to protect the upper basin freshwater wetlands re establish a barrier to Gulf intrusion enhance storm surge protection and reintroduce annual infusions of freshwater sediment and nutrients to build land and sustain existing wetlands Learn more Terrebonne Atchafalaya Basin Projects Increase Atchafalaya Flow into Terrebonne Marshes Isles Dernieres Barrier Island Restoration Timbalier Islands Barrier Island Restoration Houma Navigation Canal Hydrologic Restoration The Terrebonne and Atchafalaya Basins occupy the central coast of Louisiana In Atchafalaya Bay on the western side of the basin the Atchafalaya River and its Wax Lake Outlet are building new land However in Terrebonne Bay on the eastern side wetlands are collapsing and becoming open water as the sediment starved land sinks and salt water intrudes into freshwater wetlands The priority projects selected for this basin focus on stabilizing the barrier island system Isles Dernieres Barrier Island and Timbalier Islands Barrier Island Restoration and re establishing a balance of fresh and salt water as well as sediment and nutrient distribution Learn more Chenier Plain Projects Calcasieu Ship Channel Salinity Control Measures Freshwater Bayou to Southwest Pass Shoreline Protection The Chenier Plain coast was built by sediment drifting westward over the last seven thousand years from the changing active arms of the Mississippi River including the Atchafalaya The interior Chenier Plan is being overwhelmed by saltwater intrusion due to navigation features These channels allowed salt water from the Gulf to penetrate deeply into formerly fresher marshes leading to widespread marsh loss while the jetty systems interrupted the flow of sediment from east to west The priority projects in this basin focus on increasing sustainability of the basin by reducing tidal action in Calcasieu Lake Calcasieu Ship Channel Hydrological Modification to help reduce interior salinity In addition shoreline protection Freshwater Bayou to Southwest Pass will reduce shoreline retreat on the critical southeast corner of the Chenier Plain Learn more Are these the only projects we would support The answer is no One of the triumphs of the Coastal Master Plan is the development of a Planning Tool that

    Original URL path: http://vanishingparadise.org/restore-the-delta/ (2016-04-30)
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  • Vanishing Paradise : Everglades Restoration
    economic health of the Everglades Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir Right now the State of Florida has a historic opportunity to purchase a strategically located property south of Lake Okeechobee Currently when the lake levels are high polluted water is sent down the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie rivers often fouling the waters with algae outbreaks harming fish and wildlife and hurting the economy Under a previously negotiated contract the state has an option that expires this year to purchase a piece of property owned by U S Sugar that is perfectly situated for building a reservoir to store and clean the polluted waters while allowing for controlled releases of water that would mimic natural water flows improving the health of both rivers and their estuaries Florida voters particularly anglers overwhelmingly support restoring the Everglades and want the Legislature and the Governor to act now to use Amendment 1 conservation funding to protect seven million Floridians water supply Tamiami Trail Tamiami Trail was the first highway across the Everglades connecting Tampa and Miami Since its construction in the 1920s Tamiami Trail has acted as a dam impeding the natural north south flow of water though the system As a result this part of the Everglades and coast is starved of fresh water degrading important bird and wildlife habitat and the unique ridge and slough landscape This has significantly altered the historic River of Grass and increased salinity in the naturally shallow Florida Bay Elevating strategic sections of Tamiami Trail will increase the capacity to move more water from Lake Okeechobee through the Central Everglades and south through Everglades National Park thus reducing the devastating water flows that are forced into the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie estuaries What You Can Do Businesses and organizations are welcome to join us in a letter asking

    Original URL path: http://vanishingparadise.org/everglades (2016-04-30)
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