WHEREAS, the approximately 12 miles of beachfront between Caminada Pass near Grand Isle and Belle Pass near Fourchon on the central Louisiana coast is of great recreational value and has traditionally been a Mecca for land-bound recreational anglers, crabbers, birdwatchers, campers and beachcombers, but in recent years and for various reasons, public access to and use of these state-owned beaches has been diminished or denied, and
WHEREAS, understanding the recreational value of the Caminada Headlands, the Louisiana Office of State Parks included a concept for development of a state park/state seashore in its “Louisiana State Parks Master Plan 1997-2012” that included public access and various user amenities at and between Elmer’s Island and the Fourchon Beach, and
WHEREAS, the acceleration of coastal erosion and the impact of tropical storms on the Caminada Headlands, along with state and federal restrictions on development activities, renders most construction and traditional park developments unwise and infeasible, but does not diminish the importance of the ecosystem and its value to the public for appropriate recreational uses, and
WHEREAS, on August 13, 2008 Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced the largest investment in coastal protection programs in Louisiana history, including the $71 million Caminada Headlands/Barataria Basin Shoreline Restoration (Caminada Headlands) Project, and
WHEREAS, the Caminada Headlands Project encompasses the Caminada to Belle Pass beachfront and includes the area known as “Elmer’s Island,” a historically popular coastal recreation area on the eastern reach of the project area, and the vaunted Fourchon Beach, another historically popular public fishing and recreation area on the western reach of the Project, and
WHEREAS, the Caminada Headlands Project includes the acquisition and restoration of Elmer’s Island and its management for public enjoyment, including for fishing and other recreational uses; an objective long advocated by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and other conservation organizations, and
WHEREAS, the state will have to obtain permission or otherwise acquire the right to access and use private property for the implementation of the Caminada Headlands Project, and
WHEREAS, to advance the concept of creating a “state seashore” between Caminada and Belle Passes it would be appropriate for the state to seek sufficient land rights from private landowners, when negotiating rights to construct and maintain the coastal restoration and protection features of the Caminada Headlands Project, to eventually establish a “Caminada Headlands State Seashore.”
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) does hereby express appreciation to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for his historic investment in Louisiana coastal restoration as announced on August 13, 2008.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the LWF supports the concept of creating a “Louisiana State Seashore” along the Caminada Headlands, from Elmer’s Island and Caminada Pass on the east to Belle Pass and the Fourchon on the west, to be managed for fish and wildlife conservation and public uses compatible with coastal conservation, restoration, and protection.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the LWF urges the State of Louisiana to incorporate the creation of a “Louisiana State Seashore Recreation Area” into the current plans for restoration of the Caminada Headlands and to pursue negotiation of land rights necessary to achieve this goal.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, March 1, 2009 in West Monroe, Louisiana