WHEREAS, in April 2010 the Macondo 252 exploratory oil well in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) blew out, destroying the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, killing 11 rig workers and subsequently spewing millions of gallons of crude oil and other formation constituents into the Gulf for three months, and
WHEREAS, beyond the tragic loss of human life, the full impact of the blowout on the ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico and the citizens of the Gulf region is still being assessed and may never be fully known and understood; however, many of the damages and losses are well-known, and
WHEREAS, damages and losses due to the Macondo 252 well blowout include oiled marshes and barrier shorelines, the death of thousands of sea and shorebirds and the destruction of shorebird nesting habitat, closure of commercial and recreational fishing, closure of beaches to public use, loss of use of fishing camps, boats, and fishing opportunities, and associated economic impacts, and
WHEREAS, the response to the well blowout is ongoing, thus prolonging impacts including closure of public sea shores like Elmer’s Island and Grand Isle, and
WHEREAS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the lead federal trustee in assessing damages to natural resources, is developing a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement to address damages and losses related to the well blowout and has invited the public to make recommendations and provide ideas for suitable mitigation of such losses and damages.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) recommends that mitigation for damages and losses due to the Macondo 252 oil well blowout include:
a-) Full restoration of the habitat of Elmer’s Island and the Caminada Headland that was damaged by the well blowout and response thereto;
b-) The acquisition by the state of additional portions of Elmer’s Island from willing sellers;
c-) The development and implementation of a habitat conservation plan for Elmer’s Island and a public use plan, including adequate supervision, that is consistent with the conservation plan;
d-) Rehabilitation of the wooden Caminada Pass bridge as a first class recreational fishing pier to fully accommodate use by children and the physically challenged;
Res. No. 16E, 2011 – MITIGATION FOR HABITAT DAMAGES, Page 2
e-) Design and construction of bird nesting and resting islands in Barataria and Terrebonne Bays, Breton Sound, and other suitable coastal waters, consistent with the natural ecosystem and utilizing, to the extent feasible, the establishment of natural oyster reefs to sustain the islands;
f-) Establishment of Woodlands Conservancy’s Greenway Corridor projects located in the Barataria Basin in the peninsula formed by Orleans and Plaquemines Parish to set-aside and enhance migratory bird habitat and ensure public, recreational access to these habitat areas in perpetuity for future generations.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, March 20, 2011 in Alexandria, Louisiana