WHEREAS, an increasing number of restoration projects in coastal Louisiana involve creation of marsh using material obtained from a “borrow” site, and
WHEREAS, it is important that the overall impact of wetland restoration projects is beneficial and that the most beneficial projects are give priority for funding and implementation, and
WHEREAS, the “Wetland Value Assessment” used to evaluate and prioritize restoration projects for funding and implementation, and to monitor the efficacy of projects, assesses only the area where wetland creation occurs, or loss prevented, and
WHEREAS, the creation/use of borrow sites may have adverse as well as beneficial impacts to fish and wildlife habitat, yet the borrow sites for the material used to create marsh for a wetland restoration/creation project are not assessed for positive or negative impacts and incorporated into the wetland value assessment for a restoration project, and
WHEREAS, it is conceivable that what would otherwise be a beneficial wetland creation project would not produce an overall net benefit in habitat units or would have a reduced Wetland Value Assessment ranking if the impacts of the removal/use of borrow material were included in the assessment of the project benefits, and
WHEREAS, adverse impacts to fish and wildlife habitat due to the creation/use of borrow sites for wetland restoration projects should be avoided.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) urges the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of the state of Louisiana and the Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection & Restoration Act Task Force to include the assessment of ecosystem impacts due to the creation/use of borrow sites for proposed wetland/marsh restoration projects in the Wetland Value Assessment used to prioritize and fund implementation of each wetland restoration project that requires the use of borrow material.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that LWF urges that the borrow site assessment 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