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Q.1-4: Wetland Conservation through the Louisiana Waterfowl Project

Presented by Aaron Pierce - Email: apierce@ducks.org

Louisianas coastal wetlands are critical natural resources that provide habitat for millions of wintering waterfowl. However, Louisiana also has the highest coastal wetland loss rate of any state in the U.S., approximately 44 km2 per year. Thus, restoration and enhancement of Louisianas wetlands is imperative to help offset coastal wetland loss and provide quality habitat for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife. The Louisiana Waterfowl Project (LWP) is a cooperative private lands partnership program which includes: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Ducks Unlimited, Inc. LWPs mission is to provide critical migratory and wintering habitat for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife. Priority is also given to enhance nesting and brood-rearing habitat for Mottled Ducks. LWP strives to accomplish its mission by providing cost-sharing on private lands restoration/enhancement projects, engineering and design services, and technical assistance for landowners. Typical LWP projects involve installation of water control structures, pumps, levee work, and land shaping. In addition, landowners agree to maintain and manage the project for waterfowl over a 15-year period following project construction. LWP focuses on projects in coastal Louisiana, with priority given to projects in the Chenier Plain and Mississippi River Deltaic Plain. With the overwhelming need for coastal restoration in south Louisiana and with over 80% of the state being privately owned, it is imperative to work diligently with private landowners to offer restoration/enhancement support that will provide long-term wetland conservation benefits. Since the start of LWP in 1992, the program has restored/enhanced over 100,000 acres of privately-owned wetlands. Habitat types restored/enhanced through LWP include: coastal marshes, moist soil units, palustrine emergent wetlands, and flooded timber. LWP projects provide quality habitat for a wide variety of resident, migratory, and wintering species of waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, and other wetland-dependent species.
Session: Poster Session 2 (Wednesday, August 28, 19:00 to 21:00)