L.D.W.F. ACCEPTS FUNDS FOR RESERVOIR PROJECT MITIGATION
On September 19, State Representative Lelon Kenney and Michael Thompson of
the Bayou DeChene Reservoir Commission presented Louisiana Department of
Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary James Jenkins Jr. with a check in the amount of
$793,100. The money was to fulfill a mitigation requirement by the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers to offset unavoidable wetland losses. An agreement reached
between the commission and the department allowed for the restoration of
department property. This was an unprecedented arrangement involving the
development of state lands.
The Bayou DeChene Reservoir Commission is in the process of developing a
reservoir near Columbia in north Louisiana. The project is modeled after the
popular Poverty Point Reservoir near Delhi. During the planning of the project,
it was determined that there would be unavoidable wetland loss. To mitigate this
loss, the commission entered into an agreement with the department to help
restore bottomland hardwood habitat in the state-owned Red River Wildlife
Management Area in Concordia Parish. At a ratio of over five acres restored for
each acre lost, 721 acres will be restored in the WMA.
LDWF is very excited about this arrangement. LDWF Program Manager Randy
Myers, said "This situation is unique in that it benefits the public in two
ways. They get to enjoy the new reservoir facility and we now have the
capability to restore precious habitat on our WMA for their enjoyment as well.
We hope that this agreement will be looked to as a model for future
PLATFORM DONATED TO ARTIFICIAL REEF PROGRAM
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Artificial Reef Program
got a boost from Forest Oil on Thursday, September 18. Larry Fontenot, of the
Denver based petroleum company that operates out of Lafayette, presented LDWF
with a check of $2.5 million and ownership of an oil platform near Eugene
Island. The platform, rendered inoperable by Hurricane Lili, has been scrubbed
and cleaned of all hazardous materials and will now become an artificial reef.
The monetary donation will go to help cover the program's costs.
Louisiana's Artificial Reef Program has enjoyed much recent success in
improving the habitat for fisheries in coastal waters and the gulf. The program
creates artificial reefs by submerging obsolete oil and gas platforms in gulf
waters. This helps to provide valuable habitat for fishes and prime fishing
areas for anglers.
The arrangement between Forest Oil and the department is beneficial to both
sides. To properly dispose of an obsolete platform, a company could spend
several million dollars. By donating the platform to the program, a company can
save a substantial amount of money and help to provide a service to the public.
The latest addition to the program is located in the Eugene Island area, just
90 miles south of Marsh Islands. The rig will be submerged in 225 feet of water.
The exact location is: Longitude 28 degrees 17 minutes 51 seconds west, latitude
91 degrees 42 minutes 57 seconds north.