Chair: Haywood (Woody) Martin
Vice Chair: Charlie Fryling
Treasurer: John Westra
Conservation Chair Willie Fontenot
Barry Kohl firstname.lastname@example.org
Dean Wilson ENAPAY3@aol.com
Jeff Wellborn email@example.com
Nancy Grush firstname.lastname@example.org
Harvey Stern email@example.com
Devin Martin (985) 209-5454
and Bookkeeping Support: Leslie March
Rene Maggio firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair: Harold Schoeffler
Vice Chair and Group representative to the Delta Chapter Excom:
Baton Rouge Group
Chair (acting chair): Nancy Grush,
Member: Ann Vail Shaneyfelt,
Delta Chapter Recycling Chair email@example.com
Group Representative to the Delta Chapter,
Treasurer: Gwen Pine, firstname.lastname@example.org
Honey Island Group
Treasurer: Diane Casteel
Chapter Delegate Frank Neelis
Jeff Wellborn group rep
New Orleans Group
Natasha Noordhoff, Vice Chair
Wendy King, Secretary
James Guilbeau, Treasurer
Barry Kohl, Conserv Chair
Rene' Maggio, Webmaster
Charles Pfeifer, Program Chair
Sierra Club Regional Office
716 Adams St.,
April 15, 11am to 4pm: Lafayette Earth Day Festival @ Vermilionville. Drop by the Sierra Club table! Call or email Devin Martin to volunteer.
April 15, 7 to 8pm: New Orleans Group Program-"Healing the Marshes of South Louisiana" Scott Eustis of Gulf Restoration Network will discuss new research evaluating the effectiveness of spoil bank restoration to interior wetlands. Audubon Zoo, Dominion Auditorium, right gate at entrance of
Zoo. Refreshments served at 6:30pm. Contact Natasha Noordhoff,504-307-0187 for more info.
April 18, 6:30pm: Acadian Group hosts Robert Schmidt of Joule Energy to discuss Solar and other Renewable Energy opportunities in Louisiana. First United Methodist Church, 703 Lee
Avenue, Lafayette, LA. Call Devin Martin for more info.
April 20-24: "Remember the Gulf" Day of Service. Go to "Remember the Gulf" on Facebook to learn more or to find or help organize and event in your area, or
contact Cherri Foytlin at 334-462-4484.
April 22, 12pm to 5pm: Baton Rouge Earth Day Festival. Music, info, food, fun! Near Old State Capitol. Baton Rouge Sierra Club and ECO @ LSU will be sharing a table. Contact Ellen Morgan at 225-344-3930 for info or to volunteer.
April 22, 9am to 7:30pm: New Orleans Earth Day Festival and Green Business Expo. At Bayou St. John. Featuring Cyril Neville and Flow Tribe. Go to at 504-307-0187 to volunteer for the Sierra Club table.
April 25-29: Festival International de Louisiane. Downtown Lafayette. Sierra
Club will be helping with Recycling at the festival. Please contact Devin Martin to volunteer.
May 10: Baton Rouge Group Program. The Backpacker, 7656 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge. Speaker and details TBA. Contact Ellen Morgan for details, 225-344-3930.
May 26: Sierra Club 120 Birthday Bash! Feed and Seed Music Venue, 106 N. Grant St, Lafayette. Lineup and details TBA, contact Devin Martin for info or to volunteer to help.
Contact: Devin Martin,
Keep up with events by joining us on facebook.
April 21, 1pm: Indian Bayou Hike (John Muir's Birthday Outing!) Carpools from Lafayette and Baton Rouge leaving around noon. Contact Devin Martin for info or to RSVP.
May 19, 1pm: Pearl River WMA Hike. Old Hwy 11, Pearl River WMA (outside Slidell). We will be joined by environmental scientist and Pearl River Native Jennifer Blanchard to help interpret the surrounding flora and fauna. Contact Devin Martin for more info or to RSVP
Delta Chapter 2012 Retreat
Chapter Retreat 2012
On the weekend of March 16-18 Delta Chapter members got together sharing two cabins at Lake Fausse Point State Park. Stacy Scarce led the group on an early Saturday morning birdwatch and later conducted a nature journaling session. In the afternoon Harold Schoeffler did his great knot tying presentation and trained us in map and compass orientation. Food was great, Woody Martin cooked breakfast both mornings and Harold did a catfish fry on Saturday evening. Harold took everyone out on his party boat to look at old Lake Cypress on Lake Dauterive. Everybody had a good time with a good mix of activities and down time for visiting. The outing was organized by Woody with help from Diane Casteel, Bruce Barton, Stacey Scarce and huge help from Harold Schoeffler. Thanks everyone for a good time. If you missed it this time put it on your calendar for next year, second or third weekend in March. We will send notices out in January
Calling all Trail Blazers!
The Sierra Club New Orleans Group is in the process of updating our outdated Delta Country Trail Guide. We are looking for outdoorsy folks interested in scoping canoe, foot, and bike trails to help revive our outings program.
We are holding training outings each month to show you exactly what scoping a trail entails. One of the trainings was held in Jean Lafitte Park this February, where 35 eager scopers heard the natural resources manager, Dusty Pate, speak on the history of the park and it's newly acquired Bayou aux Carpes. After a training and lunch, a group split off to hike, and the rest of us paddled back into the bayou, seeing turtles, birds (I'm no birder, but they were beautiful!) and a handful of gators.
The March outing was a mountain biking trail in the Bonnet Carre Spillway. Held after a few storms blew through, the trail was full of muddy obstacles and ripe wild blackberries! Revamping the Trail Guide will help us bring these adventures to more folks in the delta region, as well as invigorate our outings program.
If you think you have what it takes to explore some old trails, become an outings leader, or help us update the guide, please contact Natasha Noordhoff at email@example.com
Notes from the Field
Starting with this issue, we will be featuring a report from a Sierra Club staff person or volunteer about the campaigns they are working on.
Darryl Malek-Wiley, an environmental justice organizer based in New Orleans is kicking us off.
An update on the Bayou Bienvenu Restoration
The Sierra Club played a large part in getting a change in the 2012 Master Plan that would benefit the Bayou Bienvenu project. If you wonder if your replies to action alerts make a difference, in this case over 200 Sierra Club members submitted comments in support of the Central Wetlands project.
The last paragraph in the following excerpt from the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan fulfills some of the requests that Sierra Club members and staff made over and over to the State in our comments on the Master Plan.
In addition, the City of New Orleans (Charles Allen's Office) has submitted a $ 12 million dollar proposal to CWPPRA build a series of small islands in the Bayou 3 to 5 feet above the water level where there will be oak trees planted on the top area of the islands and cypress trees planted closer to the water. Marsh grasses will be planted in the floating marshes around the islands.
There are ongoing efforts to restore the bayou including removing invasive plants from the spoil banks. The Sierra Club, Common Ground Relief, Univ of Wisc students, CSED and Richie Blink of Empire Environmental Solutions participated in removing invasive plants and planting oak trees in March.
If you are interested in this project, contact Darryl. There is always something needed to be done to help out.
Excerpt from Louisiana Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast.
* Central Wetlands - Bayou Bienvenue triangle project added into master plan because of the storm surge, cultural and value of coastal cypress tupelo forests. The master plan analysis used land maintained or built as the key decision driver for restoration. Numerous projects have been proposed and evaluated in the master plan with the objective to sustain coastal forests. Sustaining a specific habitat was not a decision driver for this analysis; however we fully acknowledge its importance. Our Future Without Action analysis indicates that without swift action, many of the swamp forests in Louisiana will be gone in just 10-15 years. With the loss of those coastal forests, we also increase the risk of flooding from storm surge to neighboring communities. Many of the forests are in peril due to the disconnection from the river, thus the master plan recommends diversions at West Maurepas and Central Wetlands to deliver much needed freshwater and sediment into swamps to help sustain the forests longer into the future, specifically under future uncertain conditions of sea level rise, subsidence, etc. The master plan's ability to capture the effects of smaller projects, specifically those into swamp forests, was limited and needs to be expanded in on-going efforts. The master plan does not have all the answers in how to sustain our important coastal forests. This is a key area of future analysis. Demonstration projects, such as the LCA Amite River Diversion Canal (001.HR.01) and Central Wetlands North - Compartment A (001.MC.08a), can be examples of how a small project into a coastal forest can provide on-the-ground monitoring results to develop better projects and understand the complexities of sustaining these important habitats. For this reason, these projects are included in the final plan.
Note: To read the entire plan go to coastallouisiana.gov
The Delta Sierran is published four times a year by the Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club. Articles and editing by local volunteers. Production by Penguin Platitudes.Text of articles may be reprinted if duly acknowledged.
Artwork and photos may not be reproduced without permission.
The Delta Chapter is 3,000 of your neighbors supporting the work of the Sierra Club in Louisiana. We advance the cause of protecting Louisiana's environment in a variety of ways, including lobbying the state legislature in Baton Rouge to create clean jobs, develop renewable
resources like wind and solar and most important to protect our natural heritage for our families and future generations.
We work to save the Cypress, keep the Atchafalaya Wet and Wild and promote restoring our wetlands,
the natural coastal barriers. We also go outside and enjoy our beautiful planet with canoe trips, hikes and camp outs.
Contributions and Announcements
for the next issue of the Delta
Sierran should be sent no later than June 30, 2012. Please forward
via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New Orleans Group News
The New Orleans Group has been supporting the Metropolitan Bicycle Coalitation (a.k.a. "Bike Easy") The Group has lobbied both the city and neighborhoods to support the expense of signs, roadway striping, and construction. On March 30th a new section of the cross-mid-city Jefferson Davis route was dedicated.
Twice a year 'Bike Easy' has a family-friendly escorted Bike Second Line through several neighborhoods to promote bike rideing.New Orleans has recently been awarded a "Bronze" desigination for the increase in bike paths and on-street bike lanes. We're also requesting 3-bike carrier racks be installed on the new larger buses.
Science Fair Winners
The N.O.Group has continued its participation in the annual Greater New Orleans Science Fair. We make three awards in the areas of Environental Science & Enviromental Management. A $25 cash award and a one-year student membership to the Club is included.
The winners for this year are in the Senior Division: Zoe Gauthreaux and Dennis Tran and Saikiran Devanga Chinta in the Junior Division.
Welcome to the second edition of the Delta Chapter Electronic Newsletter. We hope that you will continue to comment on the content and style as we work to make this newsletter: informative, entertaining and useful for our members. After all, without your continued support, we wouldn't be able to accomplish our mission in Louisiana.
View from the Chair
Success in Delta Chapter Scenic Rivers Strategy
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has agreed to prioritize work on three new management plans under the requirements of the State's Scenic Rivers Act. This comes after Delta Chapter sent letters to Robert Barham, Secretary LDWF and to the Governor, demanding that the state comply with language of the Act and file a management plan for the West Pearl River, and after meetings between LDWF and our advocates Hugh Penn and Richard Exnicios along with our science advisor Barry Kohl. In addition to the plan for the West Pearl the Department has agreed to undertake management plans for Bayou Manchac and Bayou Lacombe. This is a victory for all three river systems because after years of negligence it draws LDWF back in to active planning and management of the river segments for preservation and enhancement of their scenic and water quality characteristics.
The Delta Chapter has obtained almost 1000 pages of documents from LDWF and will be examining their compliance with the Scenic Rivers Act. Our intention is to push regulatory agencies into meeting their responsibilities under applicable regulatory statutes. The Louisiana Scenic Rivers Act is one of the best statutes in the country for helping to preserve and enhance natural streams. The Act was passed into state law in the early 1970's and if administered with adequate resources could be one of our most effective tools in helping to protect natural places in Louisiana.
Delta Chapter also has two state legislative initiatives related to scenic rivers. One is HCR 49, a concurrent resolution introduced by Rep Stephen Ortego, requesting LDWF to study inclusion of Bayou Teche into the state scenic and historic rivers system. The other is SB 439, introduced by Sen A.G. Crowe, to authorize certain parishes to create a conservation district. See separate article in this newsletter about the conservation district legislation.
This work is funded by the donations that the Chapter receives directly from our members. Please consider a donation to the Chapter today through the March Appeal campaign. All of the funds stay here in Louisiana.
Sierra Club National Board Meets in NOLA
On February 26, 2012, the Delta Chapter conducted a boat tour of cypress forest in the Atchafalaya for the Sierra Club Board of Directors. Delta Chapter Excom Member and Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, Dean Wilson provided boats and expert commentary. The Board was meeting in New Orleans. Members of the board and national staff including President Robin Mann, Allison Chinn, Lane Boldman, Jim Dougherty, John Barry and others (pictured below) decided to take the extra time to tour with us and learn about the issues we face in trying to protect cypress trees and forested wetlands
|CSED Receives National Recognition for Sustainable Recovery Efforts|
|Tracey Nelson, Executive Director of the CSED and Robin Mann, President of the Sierra Club National Board.|
The Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED), founded in 2006 following the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, was honored Friday for the organization's initiatives to restore Bayou Bienvenue and the community since the storms. National Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune and President Robin Mann were on hand to present the award to CSED's executive director, Tracy Nelson, at the view platform overlooking Bayou Bienvenue.
The Times-Picayune's Katy Reckdahl covered the event in "Lower 9th Ward is making environmental strides, Sierra Club declares":
"Six years after it was enveloped by floodwaters, the Lower 9th Ward includes three urban farms and perhaps more "green" houses than any other neighborhood in the country. Alongside typical New Orleans pleas for more repaired streets and fewer blighted lots, Lower 9 residents now regularly lobby for sustainable development. They've also pushed to restore the long-neglected Bayou Bienvenue, which bounds the neighborhood on its Florida Avenue edge.
On Friday, the national environmental group Sierra Club cited these achievements as it honored one of the area's post-Katrina engines, the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development.
"I think we're turning a corner," said the center's former co-director, Charles Allen, who now is the city's director of environmental affairs.
During the years after the failed Industrial Canal levees opened up onto the Lower 9th Ward, Allen and co-director Pam Dashiell, who died in 2009, worked from dawn to dusk organizing neighbors, pushing for structurally sound levees and demanding environmentally sensitive construction.
The Sierra Club gathered on the bayou on Friday to highlight achievements and future challenges. The group, with the support of Lower 9 neighbors, is pushing to get the restoration of Bayou Bienvenue included in the master plan drafted last month by the state's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.
Contributed by Tracy Nelson, Executive Director of the CSED. For more information and to subscribe to the CSED newsletter go to http://blog.sustainthenine.org/2012/02/index.html
Spring Back into Action with Sierra Club!
Spring is a time of regeneration, growth, and new beginnings. It's a busy time for nature, and for many people, too. This spring is an especially busy one for the Delta Chapter. We're as active as ever at the State Capitol as we continue to push for laws that protect the natural resources and citizens of Louisiana. We are working hard to recruit new leaders and plan new activities for our local Groups. We are planning on tabling at Earth Day events, festivals, and community events across the state. And we are trying our best to be the best grassroots environmental organization in the state. But to achieve these goals, we need your help. Help can come in a variety of ways, from volunteering to help make phone calls to supporters on important legislation, to helping to plan or lead outings and activities, to tabling at events to help spread our mission, to taking a leadership role in your Group or Chapter ExCom.
Take a minute to look through the list of upcoming events and volunteer roles and decide if there's anything you can do to help keep the Sierra Club alive and vibrant in 2012 and beyond. You can also contact Woody Martin at 337-298-8380 or email@example.com to ask about other roles you can fill. For our families, for our future!
Remember the Gulf this Earth Day
As a Sierran, you probably have plans to celebrate Earth Day. So do we! But this Earth Day, let's not forget the tragic events that happened only two years ago off our coast-the explosion (4-20-10) and sinking (4-22-10) of BP's Deepwater Horizon rig, leading to the death of 11 workers and enormous damage to the ecosystems, economy, and people of the Gulf coast. We will be tabling at Earth Day events in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans to educate people about the Club and our continuing work for environmental justice and to recruit new members to the cause. Help us to spread the message-volunteer at one of our tables, organize an event in your community, or post a message on your facebook page asking out of state friends and family to "Remember the Gulf" this Earth Day. Search for "Remember the Gulf" on Facebook for more ideas on what you can do to help restore the Gulf.
A Glimmer of Hope on the Pearl
SB 439 Would Create a Conservation District for the Region
Update: It's been more than six months since the Temple-Inland paperboard plant in Bogalusa, Louisiana had a major malfunction and discharged undisclosed amounts of "black liquor," which led to the widely reported Fish Kill on the Pearl River system in August of 2011. Since then, some semblance of normalcy has returned to the Pearl River region. Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries (LWF) completed its investigation and fish count in November and assessed a penalty of $760,000 to help defray the costs of restocking the river, which lost over 500,000 fish and mussels. Local fishermen are reporting that they are catching fish again, although not in the same quantity and quality as before. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) allowed the plant to reopen under the condition that it spend approximately $15 million in infrastructure repairs and upgrades over the course of several years. It has yet to finish its investigation or assess a penalty on the plant, which failed to report the discharge for five days until residents alerted officials about the dead fish in the rivers and slews. Meanwhile, the plant was bought by rival company International Paper and is in the process of transferring its operations to its new owner. International told DEQ that it will assume liability for the incident, but we'll have to wait for DEQ to finish its investigation and assess a penalty to find out what International will be liable for.
So things are back to normal for the residents of Washington and St. Tammany Parishes, right? Not exactly. While environmental disasters are nothing new for the sacrifice zone known as Louisiana, the residents of the Pearl River region are ready for change. A new sense of ecological awareness has arisen, and citizens are calling for more protection and an emphasis on conservation for the Pearl. They want to make sure that their rivers and swamps are recognized as the treasures that they are and promoted as such. They want to ensure that young people are educated about ecology and the region's rich and unique natural and cultural heritage. The Sierra Club Delta Chapter is working hard to make sure that these voices are heard.
To that end, we have helped to craft Senate Bill 439, which is sponsored by State Senator A.G. Crowe of Slidell. SB 439 began as a petition calling for accountability for the paper mill and the creation of a conservation program for the Pearl, and was signed by hundreds of residents during the heat of the fish kill. SB 439 would allow the Parishes of Washington and St. Tammany to create a Pearl River conservation district. The district would consist of public lands and waterways within a quarter mile of the high water mark in the two parishes, and would be run by a board of unpaid commissioners who would be appointed from the Parish Governments, relevant State agencies (DEQ, LWF, DHH, DA&F, DNR), and conservation organizations that work in the area, including the Delta Chapter. They would have the power to seek and accept grants, buy property, and develop management plans with the intention of improving, conserving and promoting the natural resources of the area. The district would be better able to respond to environmental problems as they arise, have local and conservation-focused representation, and have the full force of the law where applicable. In Lafayette, the Bayou Vermilion District has done a tremendous job of reversing the Vermilion river's environmental problems and promoting the river as a recreational, ecological and cultural asset. We hope that the Pearl River Conservation District can do the same, but we need your help to make it happen. You can get involved by volunteering to make calls to petition signers, coming to the committee hearing for the bill (date TBA), or by calling your senators and representatives and telling them that you support SB 439. Stay tuned to the Delta Chapter website or to your email for notice of a public presentation about SB 439 in the NorthShore area to happen sometime in April.
You can read the bill by going to the Louisiana Legislature's website at www.legis.state.la.us, click on the "Search" tab, and search for SB 439, or find out more by contacting Devin Martin, Delta Chapter Conservation Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 985-209-5454.
Bringing his unique slant to the war against the environment for over 30 years.
"What, me worry?"
That is the decades-old motto of Alfred E. Neumann, the face and spirit of MAD Magazine. It is also the philosophy of those who deny the existence of global warming, a.k.a. climate change. March 2012 was the warmest on record by far. Tornadoes, bad ones, in greater number than ever ripped up the Midwest. Rev. Pat Robertson, consistent and true to form, pronounced the storms the wrath of God because of sinners, just what all those people left homeless and grieving for dead family members wanted to hear.
American society in the 21st century has reached a stage of distrusting science and scientists to explain observed natural phenomena, which is what science is supposed to do. The Louisiana Legislature has enshrined in law the freedom (?) of public school science teachers to inculcate their pupils to object to certain notions that are scientifically sound, specifically evolution and global warming. Governor Bobby Jindal, with a degree in biology from Brown University, signed it into law.Then he sought an overhaul of the state's education system. Elected officials run around calling themselves "conservative" but want to conserve nothing. Most Louisiana politicos get uncomfortable around people who use terms like "air pollution" and "environmental protection." And if they are asked to support a proposal because it "protects the ecosystem" or is "green" or, heaven forbid, "reduces global warming," they respond with folded arms and arched backs. Don't even suggest to them that grinding up cypress trees for garden mulch destroys one of the most important anchors of the wetlands that provide a brake on hurricane surges.
Are those of us who accept the science behind global warming and evolution missing something? Have our minds been warped and perverted by all those high school science teachers and liberal professors who bored us to tears in high school and college? When we apply the scientific method and rational thought to analyze observed empirical data, are we doing the devil's handiwork?
Maybe we're doomed.
Science is being attacked from the right side of the political spectrum, a challenge to knowledge and research that is curiously similar to the attacks from the left in the 1960s and 1970s, when the
Vietnam War and all the disaster and evil it stood for were deemed to be the nefarious work of scientists and engineers. The scientists of that era were those same wonderful people who brought us napalm and Agent Orange. (They also brought us computers, GPS, and cell phones, but that often got lost in the narrative.) Now scientists are the nutty, politically driven doom-and-gloom messengers who tell us nasty stories about what humans are doing to the world. It's a hoax, we are told, exaggerated by The Liberal Media.
The Sierra Club's policy on global warming is, unfortunately, based on sound scientific analysis and rational thinking, poor substitutes in today's political climate of faith-based science and creative denial. It is time for the Sierra Club to turn right, far right and sharply.
The Sierra Club should announce that it has accepted the fact that the theory of global warming, like the theory of evolution, is "just a theory" and maybe even a hoax. With hat in hand, the club's
honchos should go to the offices of the Charles Koch Foundation, funded by the right-wing oil billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch, that has bankrolled much of the global-warming denial movement. Striking their breasts and mumbling in Latin "Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa," our leaders should ask the Brothers Koch for forgiveness - and a big donation.
The Koch Brothers should be ready for more financing of global-warming denial. They have been embarrassed by their backing of Dr. Richard Muller, a respected physicist who was a skeptic of
global warming. With money from the Koch brothers, Muller examined all the data supporting global warming and found it to be sound and credible, much to the chagrin of those financing his project.
There would be much howling and gnashing of teeth in Sierra Club circles to be sure, but such lamentations should be eased by the knowledge that the club will have an enormous amount of money
to fund further studies into the falsity of the global warming belief. Or so it should be announced.
The Sierra Club's next step would be the same as Muller's and say to the global-warming deniers, "Sorry, guys; global warming is real. Thanks for the contribution." Then the money could be
spent on other projects.
There are many global-warming deniers among those who take the Bible literally and deny the process of biological evolution. Their anti-science stand should be an impetus to develop a Sierra Club outreach to the science-challenged. Consider the effect on the biblically devout if the club adopted a position linking the Great Flood of Genesis to global warming.
In Genesis 6: 5-13, the Lord promises to destroy the earth because of unspecified wickedness of humans. Isn't that what is happening in the 21st century too? People are sinning by pumping great volumes of pollutants into the earth God created. Unless something is done to stop the wickedness, the world will be destroyed as it was in Noah's day. Come, join the Sierra Club and repent.
Global-warming deniers and biblical literalists need places in the Sierra Club, not just the educated elites, the granola-eaters, and the all-things-green advocates. Maybe even Rev. Pat Robertson
would join the club.
- Earl Higgins
Delta Chapter Legislative Update, March 30, 2012
Sierra Club Delta Chapter state legislative strategy is getting better all the time. We are working a multi part strategy that includes ongoing discussion and working with our allies in the Louisiana environmental community. It started with active support for election of several state legislators including campaign work for Stephen Ortego, active support for Jack Montoucet, and formal endorsement of J.P. Morrell of New Orleans. This year we put on two social events for legislators, one in New Orleans on March 1, and one in Baton Rouge on March 21. We are receiving excellent feedback and recognition among legislators for these events. The purpose of these events was to get ourselves and allied legislative advocates in the same rooms with legislators to enjoy a casual evening of food and conversation. Our legislative lobbyist Darrell Hunt deserves major credit for coming up with the idea and for doing the cooking at our event in Baton Rouge.
Some legislative issues we are watching closely include legislative comment and approval of the state's recently released Coastal Master Plan and legislative review of the state's recently released report entitled "Managing Louisiana's Groundwater Resources." We are also watching the legacy oilfield battle between oil industry and landowners. There are a dozen proposed bills on this subject but the one to watch is SB 528 by Sen Long. The sponsor keeps holding it back from going to hearing because of rumored negotiations going on between industry and landowners. We'll be watching and letting you know how it comes out.
Another big one to watch is SB 436 by Sen Gerald Long which would require Sabine River Authority to obtain approval for out of state water sales from each parish in its territory. This goes back to the flap a few months ago about possible sale of water from Toledo Bend Reservoir to out of state (Texas) investors. The State of Louisiana has never had a consistent plan how to deal with in state or out of state sale of water. A related bill by Sen Long is SB 495 revises powers and duties of the Ground Water Resources Commission to include surface water, not just groundwater. Compared to other states Louisiana is just getting started on how to manage its ground and surface water resources.
Three more bills to watch:
HB 957 provides for the disclosure of the composition of hydraulic fracturing fluids. This bill would write into law and strengthen requirements that already exist in rules recently promulgated by DNR Office of Conservation.
SB 439 by A.G. Crowe Authorizes certain parishes to create a conservation district. See separate article this newsletter.
SB 450 Walsworth prohibits dumping of electronic waste such as computers, televisions, cellular phones and other electronic devices into landfills and requires DEQ to adopt by March 10, 2014 a plan and standards for the collection and recycling of all electronic waste in the state.
In order to see our legislative updates you can go to the Delta Chapter blog at http://deltasierraclub.blogspot.com/
|Leave an Environmental Legacy
|You can make a lasting difference for Louisiana's fragile environment. Whether you have a large or modest estate, the people and causes in your life are honored by your remembrance. We'll invest your bequest or memorial gift in the work you care most about-protecting Louisiana. Working with Sierra Club's gift planning team, you can create a legacy that has meaning for you and saves taxes for your heirs. Drafting or updating your will is easier than you think. Sierra Club can help. Go to www.sierraclub.org/giftplanning for more info, or call our Chapter Chair Woody Martin at 337-298-8380.|
The New Orleans Group of the Sierra Club
re-releases LaBranche Wetlands documentary from mid-1990's
NEW ORLEANS, La. (Nov. 19, 2011)- The Sierra Club New Orleans Group has re-released on DVD a documentary about the history of the LaBranche Wetlands, called "Bayou of the Lost: The Legacy of the LaBranche Wetlands." The 33-square-mile wetland is located between Jefferson Parish and the Bonnet Carré Spillway and is the watershed of Bayou LaBranche and Bayou Trepagnier.
This fragile and disappearing wetland system was once threatened by pollutants from the former Norco refinery and was the site of a proposal for a new and expanded airport for the city. This documentary, replete with images of the area in a more pristine state and interviews by local advocates and scientists 15 years ago, is a treasure for outdoor enthusiasts, coastal restoration advocates and natural history buffs alike.
The Sierra Club New Orleans Group is distributing the DVD to educational institutions and non-profit organizations for free with a request on their letterhead. A donation of $2 to cover shipping and handling would be appreciated..
Members of the public can purchase a copy for $5. If you are interested in a copy of the DVD, please send a written request and check made out to:
Sierra Club, New Orleans Group - Attn: DVD
716 Adams Street
New Orleans LA 70118-3931