Establishing a Migratory Bird Greenway Corridor with Recreational Opportunities in Perpetuity to Mitigate Natural Resource Damages from the Macondo Well Oil Spill in Southeastern Louisiana

WHEREAS, the Macondo well oil spill has adversely impacted large areas of some of the Gulf Coast’s critical bird habitat for both resident and migratory birds, and

WHEREAS, U.S. Fish & Wildlife reports that 335.1 miles of Louisiana’s coastline has been subjected to oil impacts, and

WHEREAS, hundreds of millions of birds utilize this area for critical stop-over habitat at some point during their life cycle, and

WHEREAS, the Mississippi Flyway is considered one of the most important migratory bird corridors on Earth, and

WHEREAS, the region hosts, during their twice-yearly migrations, a major portion of all birds that breed in North America, and

WHEREAS, Natural Resource Damage Assessment work completed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides detailed bird impact data by species, and

WHEREAS, birding surveys conducted by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries shows that the Woodlands Trail and Park Bird Sanctuary in Plaquemines Parish and land targeted for expansion of the Woodlands Greenway Corridor in Orleans Parish provide habitat for hundreds of species of resident and migratory birds, many of which are listed in the bird impact data, and

WHEREAS, the current and planned expansion of the Woodlands Greenway Corridor is located within the Barataria Basin just six miles from open water, and currently provides both migratory bird habitat and recreational opportunities, and

WHEREAS, natural resource trustees are charged with selecting projects that closely match resources damaged and that are supported by planning efforts, and

WHEREAS, Woodlands Conservancy is a nonprofit organization formed as a land trust to ensure that habitat and recreational opportunities are provided in perpetuity for the benefit of current and future generations, and

WHEREAS, projects submitted by Woodlands Conservancy to the Regional Restoration Program would fund acquisition of forested land of a willing seller to complete an expansion of Woodlands Trail Bird Sanctuary and provide low-impact recreational facilities in Orleans Parish, and

WHEREAS, USFWS has committed technical and financial assistance as a Federal partner to Woodlands Conservancy to implement restoration work for bird habitat improvement on acquired land through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, and

WHEREAS, Louisiana State Office of Culture Recreation and Tourism’s, Recreational Trails program has committed assistance as a State partner to Woodlands Conservancy to plan and implement low-impact public recreational amenities, and

WHEREAS, the City of New Orleans Mayor’s Office of Coastal and Environmental Affairs has committed assistance as a local advisory partner to Woodlands Conservancy to promote the Woodlands Greenway Corridor for ecotourism and development of the onsite interpretive program to educate others of the project’s value for mitigation for natural resource impacts, storm retention, water quality, recreation and habitat for wildlife and neotropical migratory birds, and

WHEREAS, Woodlands has been included in the City of New Orleans Master Plans for Transportation, Recreation and Open Space, Riverfront Vision 2005, the Unified New Orleans Plan for District 13 and the 2010 and 2011 Coastal Restoration and Protection Plan under future projects, and

WHEREAS, recognizing the environmental and recreational characteristics of this area, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation passed Resolution No. 2B, 2010 supporting the preservation of the [this parcel of land that is the] last remaining low-lying land between English Turn Golf Course and English Turn Wilderness Park and urges the New Orleans City Planning Commission to zone this tract as Parks and Openspace.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation supports Woodlands Conservancy’s Greenway Corridor project submitted for Natural Resource Damage Assessment funds in order to ensure migratory bird habitat and recreational opportunities in perpetuity.

Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, March 20, 2011 in Alexandria, Louisiana

Resolution #:3B, 2011
Date Proposed:03/20/2011
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