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Louisiana Environmental Education Commission

LEEC eNews: Spring and Summer Workshops and More!


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LDWF Enforcement Division Welcomes 23 New Agents at Graduation

Release Date: 04/26/2017

LDWF Enforcement Division Welcomes 23 New Agents at Graduation

From left to right (Front Row): Col. Joey Broussard, James Smith, Amanda LeBlanc, Michael Treadway, Harvey Pearce, Thomas Forehand, Richard Heinold, Michael Meserole, Seth Courtney and Major Spencer Cole.
From left to right (Middle Row): Justin Greer, Jeremiah Fletcher, Jonathan Boudreaux, Javier Bazaldua, Gerald Sander, Dylan Egan, Charley Hawkes, and Zachary Meche.
From left to right (Back Row): Jacob Neal, Jeremy Triplett, Anthony Corner, Jonathan Morrison, Zachary Allen, Cameron Densmore, and Matthew Perkins.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Law Enforcement Academy today, April 26, graduated its 31st class of cadets into the ranks of LDWF Enforcement Division agents at a ceremony in Baton Rouge.

After seven months of intensive physical and academic training at the academy, 23 newly commissioned agents are ready to begin enforcing hunting, fishing and boating regulations that govern the use of the state's natural resources.

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet was the keynote speaker at the ceremony.  “Going through the department’s training process has shaped these cadets into agents for what we hope is a long and successful career with the department,” said Montoucet.  “I’m proud to be a part of this graduation and to serve as their first secretary of the department.”

Col. Joey Broussard, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division, presented certificates and recited the Oath of Office making the cadet’s transition to commissioned agents official.  “We welcome these cadets into the Enforcement Division ranks as they fill much needed positions across the state.  Today we celebrate a much deserved graduation day.  Going forward these newly decorated agents will be required to hit the ground running with their assigned field agents for additional on the job training for the next six months.”

The 23 new agents are:

Zachary Allen, of Prairieville, assigned to Ascension Parish
Javier Bazaldua, of Plaquemine, assigned to Southern Strike Force
Jonathan Boudreaux, of Raceland, assigned to Plaquemines Parish
Anthony Corner, of Duson, assigned to Plaquemines Parish
Seth Courtney, of Hammond, assigned to East Feliciana Parish
Cameron Densmore, of Farmerville, assigned to Avoyelles Parish
Dylan Egan, of Covington, assigned to Vermillion Parish
Jeremiah Fletcher, of Bentley, assigned to Sabine Parish
Thomas Forehand, of Metairie, assigned to Plaquemines Parish
Justin Greer, of Minden, assigned to Red River Parish
Charley Hawkes, of Jena, assigned to Natchitoches Parish
Richard Heinold, of Highland, Illinois, assigned to St. Bernard Parish
Amanda LeBlanc, of Lafayette, assigned to Cameron Parish
Zachary Meche, of Church Point, assigned to Jefferson Davis Parish
Michael Meserole, of Bossier City, assigned to Bossier Parish
Jonathan Morrison, of Houma, assigned to Southern Strike Force
Jacob Neal, of Deville, assigned to Natchitoches Parish
Harvey Pearce, of Noble, assigned to Sabine Parish
Matthew Perkins, of Lafayette, assigned to Catahoula Parish
Gerald Sander, of Amite, assigned to St. James Parish
James Smith, of Hornbeck, assigned to Sabine Parish
Michael Treadway, of Lake Charles, assigned to Calcasieu Parish
Jeremy Triplett, of Little Rock, Ark., assigned to Desoto Parish

During the graduation ceremony, Pearce received the firearms award given for the best marksman in the class.  Pearce also received the physical training award for being the most fit.  Forehand received the academic award for having the highest grades.  Pearce won the overall award, which is a cumulative score from the firearms, academic and physical training categories.

At the academy, cadets train to enforce the state's recreational boating laws, the state and federal wildlife and fisheries laws and general law enforcement work on the state's many wildlife management areas.  The academy also covers general law enforcement training equal to that of other state law enforcement officers.

The graduating agents fill vacancies in LDWF’s Enforcement Division and will be assigned to a field-training officer for their first six months of duty.  Now part of the agency’s commissioned officer staff, the agents will join the ranks of those patrolling land and water to primarily detect game, fish and boating law violations.  These duties require travel into Louisiana's forests, swamps, fields, streams, bayous, lakes, marshlands, the Gulf of Mexico and on the state roadway system.

202 Boaters Certified During "Boating Education Lagniappe Day"

Release Date: 04/24/2017

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) certified 202 boaters statewide after their seventh annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on April 22.

Boating Education Lagniappe Day was at nine locations across the state and consisted of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

The NASBLA safe boating certification is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 who wants to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The NASBLA approved course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Each student received that completed the course was issued a vessel operators certification card.

To register for a future boating education class please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses and follow the links to register.

Below was the list of class locations for lagniappe day:

Webster Parish
LDWF Region 1 Office
9961 Hwy. 80
Minden, LA 71055
Sponsors included the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association (LWAA), Coca-Cola of Minden, McDonald’s, Burger King, Sonic, Raising Cane’s, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Ouachita Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292
Sponsors included Academy Sports and Outdoors and Johnny’s Pizza House.

Rapides Parish
Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301
Sponsors included Academy Sports and Outdoors

St. Martin Parish
1015 Amy St (next to the Henderson town hall)
Henderson, LA 70517
Sponsors included LWAA

Beauregard Parish
First Baptist Church of Deridder
2030 US-171
DeRidder, LA 70634
Sponsors included Beauregard Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited

Lafourche Parish
Galliano Fire Station District 3
1762 West Main St
Galliano, LA 70354
Sponsors included Renovation Hardware in Cut Off

Tangipahoa Parish
Manchac Fire Department
30221 US-51
Akers, LA 70421
Sponsors included Reno Seafood and Manchac Boat Club

Livingston Parish
Bass Pro Shop of Denham Springs
175 Bass Pro Blvd
Denham Springs, LA 70726
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will be teaching this class.
Sponsors included Bass Pro Shop of Denham Springs

St. Tammany Parish
St. Tammany Parish Library Madisonville Branch
1123 Main St
Madisonville, LA 70447
Sponsors included LWAA and Raising Canes.

St. Bernard Parish Man Sentenced For Oyster Violations

Release Date: 04/24/2017

A St. Bernard parish man pled guilty to oyster violations in St. Bernard Parish Court on April 20.

Judge Kirk Vaughn accepted the guilty plea from Joshua C. Alfonso, 30, and sentenced him to pay a $950 fine plus court costs.  Alfonso pled guilty to taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area as set by the Department of Health and Hospitals.

Since this is Alfonso’s second offense, his oyster harvester license will also be revoked for three years.  He is also forbidden to be on a vessel possessing oysters or processing oysters for three years.  Alfonso’s dredge that was seized by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) agents will be forfeited to the state.

The guilty plea stems a citation Alfonso received from LDWF agents on Sept. 9, 2016 for harvesting oysters from a polluted area closed by DHH in Lake Robin on un-leased state water bottoms in St. Bernard Parish.

District Attorney Perry Nicosia’s office prosecuted the case for the state and Senior Agent Blaine Wagner was the case agent.

LEEC eNews Bulletin: Art Contest Deadline Extended to May 5, 2017

The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission has extended the deadline for the annual Environmental Education Art and Language Arts contest to Friday, May 5, 2017 to allow students who were testing or on spring break the opportunity to participate. Our art and language arts contest is a great way for students to paint, draw or tell a story about what the environment means to them.
 
YOUR STUDENT COULD WIN A CASH PRIZE! First Place: $200 Second Place: $100 Third Place: $75. All of the winners, their families, teachers and principals get invited to a reception at the Governor’s mansion.
 
UP TO 24 WINNERS! The contest has four age groups (Group 1: Contestants ages 5-7, Group 2: Contestants ages 8-10, Group 3: Contestants ages 11-13, Group 4: Contestants ages 14-18 ) with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in both the art and language arts categories.
 
Our theme this year is Protecting Louisiana's Endangered Species. The only limit is your students’ imaginations! 
 

Agents Arrest Two People for Drug Possession

Release Date: 04/20/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents arrested two Roseland residents for alleged drug charges on April 17 in Tangipahoa Parish.

Agents arrested Willie I. Rhodus Jr., 42, and Shelia R. Hutchins, 46, for possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm while in possession of illegal narcotics, and violating wildlife management area (WMA) regulations.

Agents were on patrol when they found the subjects in a vehicle riding in a restricted area on the Sandy Hollow WMA.  After further investigation, agents found the subjects in possession of methamphetamines, a pistol, and various drug paraphernalia.

Rhodus Jr. and Hutchins were arrested and booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail.

Rhodus Jr. was also cited for driving a vehicle with a suspended driver’s license and with a cancelled license plate.  Hutchins also has six outstanding arrest warrants for writing bad checks.

Possession of methamphetamine carries up to a $5,000 fine and five years in jail.

Possession of drug paraphernalia brings up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.  Possession of a firearm while in possession of illegal drugs carries up to a $10,000 fine and five to 10 years of prison.  Violating WMA regulations brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

Agents participating in the case are Sgt. Toby Miller and Senior Agent Lee Davis.

LEEC eNews Bulletin: Exciting Summer PD Opportunity at Grand Isle Lab

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Louisiana Environmental Education Commission is hosting Watershed Webs, a 4-day professional development workshop for educators June 5-8 at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Research Laboratory in Grand Isle, LA. Made possible by a NOAA B-WET grant, Watershed Webs takes educators through real-world scientific investigations and supports your efforts to familiarize students with scientific protocols, data collection, and data interpretation. Instructional materials are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, engaging students in true investigative learning.
 
This is a chance for you to DO something about litter and help your students see the impacts. Let us teach you how to make a difference in your classroom! Attendees will learn how to collect and interpret litter data, monitor water quality, conduct a beach profile, identify micro plastics, understand the impacts of litter on wildlife, and use litter to visually trace their watershed. Attendees will also visit a recent beach restoration site, enjoy a barrier island boat tour, and go birding on a Nature Conservancy property a few steps from the lab.  During downtime, you will enjoy a fresh Gulf fish cookout and pier fishing (bring your license and equipment).
 
Watershed Webs participants will also have the opportunity to engage their own students in a beach sweep activity in their home area. We will help you conduct a field experience with your students and provide financial support through 2017.
 
Teachers in the coastal parishes/counties of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas are eligible to participate. Go to http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/watershed-webs-eligible-parishes-and-counties for a list of qualifying parishes and counties.
 
Participants who complete this workshop will receive:
 
·       Room and board at the laboratory dorm
 
·         Handheld WiFi microscope, dissolved oxygen kit, Secchi tube, pH test kit, thermometer, flash drive, & lessons (over $300 worth)
 
·        Up to 32 hours of professional development
 
·        Up to $700 in stipends paid; dependent upon participation level:
 
        ·   Tier 1: $100 for in-state attendees, $300 for out-of-state attendees
 
        ·   Tier 2: $100 for proof of lesson plan implementation in the classroom
 
        ·   Tier 3: $200 for conducting an approved field experience with students
 
        ·   Tier 4: $100 for presenting a related session at an approved conference
 
·        Student bus transportation, driver stipends and other support for related field experiences
 
·        Student public service announcement allowance of $100
 

Registration fee of $25.00 is required. (Check will be returned upon completion of workshop.)
 
REGISTER NOW - space is limited to 20 participants from eligible counties and parishes.
 
 
 
For more information, contact Venise Ortego at vortego@wlf.la.gov.

Three Men Cited For Oyster Violations in Plaquemines Parish

Release Date: 04/19/2017

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited three men for alleged oyster violations in Plaquemines Parish on April 18.

Agents cited Joseph J. Phillips, 44, Don P. Phillips, 57, and Charles J. Williams Jr., 24, all of Port Sulphur, for taking oysters from an unapproved polluted area and unlawfully taking oysters from state water bottoms.  The captain, Joseph Phillips, was also cited for a log book violation.

Agents cited the subjects after they were observed actively dredging for oysters in an area that was closed to pollution.  Agents returned the oysters to the water and seized the dredge.  Agents also put the vessel under a department seizure order.

Taking oysters from a polluted area brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  The men could also have their oyster harvester licenses revoked by the department for up to one year.  The violators could also be sentenced to perform 40 hours of community service and only be allowed to harvest oysters from a vessel with a vessel monitoring device for up to one year.

Unlawfully taking oysters from state water bottoms carries a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.  A log book violation carries a $25 fine and up to 10 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Sgt. Villere Reggio and Sgt. Jason Gernados.

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