Birds of Louisiana’s Coast: A Landscape of Vital Habitats

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Birds of Louisiana’s Coast: A Landscape of Vital Habitats

01.23.2018 | By Katie Percy, Avian BiologistAudubon Louisiana

Originally published on January 11, 2018 by Audubon Louisiana. Some people may envision the Louisiana coast as a monolithic landscape, but to wildlife the environment is actually a mosaic of many habitat types. A diversity of species, particularly birds, has evolved to depend on specific habitat characteristics within this diverse coastal Louisiana landscape. As such, Audubon Louisiana recently created Birds of Our Coast, an infographic intended to highlight vital coastal habitats within Louisiana and a selection of bird species that …

Oyster Reefs of the Past Hold Lessons for Future Coastal Restoration

01.09.2018 | Posted by Natalie Peyronnin, Director of Science Policy, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, Environmental Defense Fund

This is part 2 of a two-part series concerning Richard Condrey and Natalie Peyronnin’s recent paper, “Using Louisiana’s coastal history to innovate its coastal future,” published in Shore & Beach, Fall 2017. See part one here.   It’s hard to imagine the lush and expansive complex of marshes and oyster reefs that early explorers encountered in south Louisiana, as described in Dr. Condrey’s recent blog. It is equally as hard to imagine how Louisiana’s coast will look into the future. Unfortunately, …

The Great Barrier Reef of the Americas: Coastal Lessons from the Past

01.08.2018 | By Richard S. Condrey, Louisiana State University (retired)

This is part 1 of a two-part series concerning Richard Condrey and Natalie Peyronnin’s recent paper, “Using Louisiana’s coastal history to innovate its coastal future,” published in Shore & Beach, Fall 2017. They were there, billions of oysters on the Great Barrier Reef of the Americas (GRBA), along the southern coast of Louisiana – a dangerous impediment to navigation. Just three to four feet under the surface of the water, though visible when the winds blew from the north, with …

Finding the Sweet Spot: Studying Oyster Habitat Suitability in the Pontchartrain Basin

09.06.2017 | By Michael Hopkins, Ph.D., Coastal Sustainability Program, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation

Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) have been cultivated in Louisiana’s coastal waters since the mid-1800s. For the last 35 years, the industry has produced more oysters in Louisiana than any other state. In Louisiana, the oyster industry is smaller in size than the pogy or shrimp fisheries but is similar in value to crawfish or alligator harvests.  Understanding oyster habitat dynamics over space and time in the Pontchartrain Basin is important because of the cultural and commercial significance as well as …

Best of Bycatch: And the Winner Is…

06.30.2017 | By Jasmine Nielsen, Food Systems, Philanthropy & Nonprofit Management Consultant

LUCY’S RETIRED SURFERS BAR & RESTAURANT! Asian carp, an invasive species with a growing presence in the Gulf of Mexico, spurred a competition among area chefs from Alma, Café Carmo, Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant and Spotted Cat Food & Spirits. The event was emceed by Chef Kevin Belton, who came straight from taping his show at the WYES studio. The event was hosted by Restore the Mississippi River Delta and the Culinaria Center at the Southern Food and …

Tropical Storm Cindy Just Wiped Out Most of the Shorebird Chicks in the Gulf

06.29.2017 | By Hannah Waters, Associate Editor,Originally posted on Audubon.org

Without coastal restoration that makes beaches less vulnerable to storm surges, climate change will be a threat, and not just from sea level rise. Originally posted on Audubon.org on June 27, 2017. A Least Tern colony, marked by signs and twine, was submerged after Tropical Storm Cindy hit the Gulf Coast last week. Photo: Abby Darrah. This week, communities ringing the Gulf of Mexico are assessing damages and cleaning up after being hit by Tropical Storm Cindy, which made landfall in …

Whoop Whoop for the Return of the Whoopers!

05.19.2017 | By

By Erik Johnson, Director of Bird Conservation & Karen Westphal, Coastal Project Manager, National Audubon Society Originally posted on May 18, 2017 by Audubon Louisiana. The tallest bird in North America nearly went extinct, and it is still teetering on the edge. Anyone who has seen a Great Egret knows the grandeur of such birds, but the Whooping Crane towers over the tallest herons and egrets, being 50% taller, and having a wingspan of 7.5 feet. Bright white, with a …

Cooking for the Coast: Eat Alligator, Restore the Coast!

04.04.2017 | Posted by Samantha Carter, Senior Outreach Coordinator, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, National Wildlife Federation

Louisiana’s rich and productive estuaries – zones where salt water from the Gulf mixes with fresh water from rivers – create an array of habitats that support numerous and diverse fish and wildlife species. One such species is the iconic American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), Louisiana’s state reptile and a true conservation success story. In the 1960s, the future of our alligators was in doubt. Loss of freshwater habitat, where alligators reside, combined with over-hunting took a toll on their population. …

Barrier Islands: A Critical Restoration Project for People and Birds

03.21.2017 | Posted by Erik Johnson, Director of Bird Conservation, National Audubon Society

Managing Barrier Islands to Maximize their Benefits to Birds Originally posted here in Audubon Louisiana News on March 20, 2017. Restoration of Louisiana barrier islands and shorelines is not only vital to the health of coastal Louisiana, but also to hundreds of thousands of nesting birds. Those that lay their eggs on the sand, called beach-nesting birds, are among the fastest group of declining birds in North America, and they rely on this critical habitat for survival. Over the last …

Celebrating America and Protecting our Feathered Friends

07.18.2016 | Posted by Emily Falgoust, Communications Associate, Restore the Mississippi River Delta, National Audubon Society

Prior to the start of a busy Fourth of July weekend, Audubon Louisiana staff and volunteers ventured to Holly Beach to protect nesting birds. These birds, including Wilson’s Plovers, Least Terns and Black Skimmers, are all Audubon priority bird species and are in danger of losing their crucial habitat. Additionally, many of these birds depend on beach habitat for nesting, making their nests vulnerable to vehicular and human traffic. These nests are often camouflaged, making it hard for people to know …

Tracking Fish with Acoustic Telemetry—Implementation of an Exciting Technology in Lake Pontchartrain

05.31.2016 | Posted by Nic Dixon, Outreach Associate, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and many other fisheries organizations and scientists worldwide have traditionally used fish tags to keep track of fish populations. You may have even applied these simple dart-tipped plastic tags to a fish yourself. Standard fish tagging efforts (in part) identify where the fish was originally captured, Point A, and then where the fish was recaptured, Point Z. But there is not a clear picture of where these fish were for points B, …

Barrier Island Restoration: An Investment in Coastal LA’s Future and for Nesting Seabirds, Part 3

04.21.2016 | Posted by Erik Johnson, Director of Bird Conservation, National Audubon Society

Our partners at Audubon Louisiana published a series of blog posts that we are cross-posting here. View the original blog post here. As we mark the sixth anniversary of the BP oil spill this week – an event that significantly and negatively impacted Louisiana’s already disappearing barrier islands and the species that depend on them – we will examine the status of barrier island restoration. Over the coming days, we’ll publish a series of blog posts that detail what work has …

Rebuilding after the BP Oil Spill

04.20.2016 | Posted by Rebuilding after the BP Oil Spill

By our partner, National Wildlife Federation. View the original post here. Six years ago this week, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 men and spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly three months. At the time, many representatives from the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition were on the ground, cataloging the impacts to wildlife and the habitats of the Gulf of Mexico. Six years later, we are still hard at work. …

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Barrier Island Restoration: An Investment in Coastal LA’s Future and for Nesting Seabirds, Part 2

04.19.2016 | Posted by Erik Johnson, Director of Bird Conservation, National Audubon Society

Our partners at Audubon Louisiana published a series of blog posts that we are cross-posting here. View the original blog post here. As we mark the sixth anniversary of the BP oil spill this week – an event that significantly and negatively impacted Louisiana’s already disappearing barrier islands and the species that depend on them – we will examine the status of barrier island restoration. Over the coming days, we’ll publish a series of blog posts that detail what work …

Barrier Island Restoration: An Investment in Coastal LA’s Future and for Nesting Seabirds, Part 1

04.18.2016 | Posted by Erik Johnson, Director of Bird Conservation, National Audubon Society

Our partners at Audubon Louisiana published a series of blog posts that we are cross-posting here. View the original blog post here. As we mark the sixth anniversary of the BP oil spill this week – an event that significantly and negatively impacted Louisiana’s already disappearing barrier islands and the species that depend on them – we will examine the status of barrier island restoration. Over the coming days, we’ll publish a series of blog posts that detail what work …