On Friday (Sept. 9), the National Audubon Society, Land Trust for Southeast Louisiana and The Conservation Fund announced the permanent protection of 675 acres of diverse wetland habitat near the town of Maurepas, La. This acquisition will enhance an ongoing, multi-partner effort to expand and preserve key ecosystems within the West Pontchartrain-Maurepas Swamp
Important Bird Area (IBA)–an area that provides a critical link for millions of migratory birds between North American nesting grounds and wintering areas in Latin America. Additionally, these protected wetlands will provide critical hurricane and storm surge protection for nearby communities and infrastructure.
Comprised of open coastal swamp and forested wetland areas of cypress and tupelo trees, the protected land is home to numerous migratory waterfowl, Neotropical and waterbird species. With the permanent stewardship of these wetlands just north of the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area, the public will gain new places to bird-watch and explore, enhanced water quality, and, with other planned efforts, vital protection from floods and storm surges...
Read more about this landmark decision >>
This piece is originally posted on the Vanishing Paradise blog.
By Ben Weber, National Wildlife Federation
We have to push for practices that do what is right for people, industry, commerce, and habitat. In my mind, restoring the Mississippi River Delta is the next piece of the puzzle in a long fight to protect waterfowl habitat.
A few weeks ago I left my home in south Louisiana, as I often do, to travel the country and spread the word about the massive wetland loss we are experiencing on the Mississippi River Delta. More specifically, the purpose of these long nights away from my home and my family is to engage sportsmen’s groups, organizations, and businesses to help them understand how much we all stand to lose if we don’t restore the delta. The ultimate goal is to actively involve them in the fight for restoration...
Continue reading about Ben and Andy's trip to the Mississippi River headwaters >>
By Maura Wood, National Wildlife Federation
Our boat left the canal, rounded a small spit of land, and emerged into the outfall area of the Caernarvon freshwater diversion, known as Big Mar – Big Sea. Situated in the last big bend of the Mississippi River about a half an hour drive south of New Orleans, this failed agricultural enterprise of the past shows up on satellite photos as a big square lake. Recent imagery had suggested that perhaps some mud shoals had developed as a result of the diversion.
But today, I wasn’t looking at mud shoals. I was looking at acres of bushy, green, growing, happy vegetation. This couldn’t be Big Mar. This was “Big Mar-sh”!
Find out more about Maura's visit to Big Mar >>
By Amanda Moore, National Wildlife Federation
Next in our Faces of the Delta series, you will meet Reverend Tyronne Edwards: 5th generation resident of Phoenix, La., community leader and organizer and coastal restoration advocate.
Name: Reverend Tyronne Edwards
Location: Phoenix, Louisiana (Plaquemines Parish)
Occupation: Founding executive director of Zion Travelers Cooperative Center and facility director for the YMCA of Greater New Orleans
What is your connection to the Mississippi River Delta? I’m a 5th generation resident of Phoenix, Louisiana, which is the very southeast end of Louisiana where the Mississippi River runs into Gulf. We call ourselves the big toe that slipped out of the Louisiana boot. We’re surrounded by three bodies of water in Plaquemines, so the land and water are very important to our survival.
What does coastal Louisiana mean to you? It means home, and there is no place like home. The culture is like no other culture. Up until the 1950s or so, we had to rely on the land for everything. We still embrace communal living. Everyone shares with each other, and we’re very close knit. We have to be that way because of our geographic location–we’re isolated. I love the interconnection between the people of our community...
Continue reading Reverend Edwards' story >>
Amanda is the Senior Coastal Louisiana Organizer for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). Amanda works with community leaders, coastal scientists and government officials to raise awareness about coastal land loss and build support to move forward large-scale, comprehensive restoration projects. Amanda brings eight years of experience to her advocacy work in the Greater New Orleans area and also serves as the coordinator for the MRGO Must Go Coalition.
Before joining NWF, Amanda was a planner for an environmental consulting firm where she focused on waste management and recycling. Prior to her consulting role, she worked for the Sierra Club in Florida on a number of campaigns, including coastal protection. She holds a BA from the University of Mary Washington and an MPA from the University of South Florida.
“As a Coast Guard kid, I had the privilege of growing up in some of the most beautiful coastal areas in the nation, and I also have deep familial ties to the working waters of the Chesapeake Bay," says Amanda. "Those experiences led to a career in conservation, and I was drawn to the Mississippi River Delta campaign..."
Read more about Amanda and the work she's doing restoring the delta >>
Posted on behalf of the Mississippi River Network.
Visit. Learn. Tell Congress what’s up. The newly redesigned website for the 1 Mississippi campaign urges visitors to get involved in a great variety of ways to protect America’s greatest River. The site–www.1mississippi.org–is designed to reach a broad array of Mississippi River residents: River rats, advocates and members of the general public who are interested in learning about nature and the world around them.
The new website has exciting new features like testimonials from River Citizens—people who take small actions to make a big difference, video clips about wildlife and even a direct link for River Citizens to tell Congress what they think...
Find out more about the new 1 Mississippi website >>