WHEREAS, coastal protection and restoration projects that create barriers that may alter hydrology and otherwise interrupt free access of organisms to and from waters and wetlands are usually designed with features that provide for some degree of ingress/egress via gaps and structures, and
WHEREAS, proposed coastal restoration projects are evaluated for funding and priority based, among other considerations, on a determination of “Average Annual Habitat Units” the project is projected to yield, and
WHEREAS, projects which have only a single-source entry/exit point are often given a higher rating under the analyses protocol than projects designed with multiple openings for organism ingress/egress, yet provision of more openings may yield greater capacity for organism ingress/egress that is more consistent with natural habitat conditions, and
WHEREAS, within limitations posed by available funding and public safety considerations, it is important for coastal restoration projects to maximize benefits to fish and wildlife and their habitats.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) urges the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection & Restoration Act Task Force to review the application of the assessment of “Average Annual Habitat Units” (AAHU) to restoration projects that include gaps/structures for organism ingress/egress with the intent of revising, as warranted, the allocation of AAHUs based on overall beneficial (compared to natural conditions) ingress/egress provided by the project.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the LWF urges that the review and revision proposed herein be applied to other coastal protection and restoration projects such as those implemented through LCA, CIAP, State Surplus Funds, etc.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, March 1, 2009 in West Monroe, Louisiana