By Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation
In a joint effort to educate and unite sportsmen across the country on the critical need to restore coastal Louisiana, National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and Ducks Unlimited have unveiled a brand new website for Vanishing Paradise.
The updated website offers new giveaways, opportunities to take action, and enhanced educational resources for hunters and anglers interested in joining the cause to help revive and recover a region damaged by decades of mismanagement and, more recently, this summer’s Gulf oil disaster.
While much of the visible oil is gone, the region remains in jeopardy as millions of migratory geese and waterfowl winter in Louisiana’s coastal wetland areas, where food supplies and habitats are still recovering from impacts of oil earlier this year.
“Coastal Louisiana was in jeopardy before the oil spill, with critical wetland habitats disappearing at the alarming rate of a football field of land lost every 38 minutes,” said Land Tawney, NWF’s senior manager for sportsmen leadership. “The oil spill exacerbated an already existing problem by coating inland marshes with oil and damaging vital fish and wildlife habitat. We need hunters and anglers nationwide to unite to save this ‘Sportsmen’s Paradise.’”
Vanishing Paradise’s new website gives us an exciting new opportunity in our continued effort to link American sportsmen who care about this unique region. The degradation of Louisiana’s coastline is not just a state or regional issue, it affects people around the country – especially in the Mississippi and Central Flyways – where waterfowl populations migrate to Louisiana for winter. Without these coastal landscapes, the hunting experience in areas across the country will suffer, just as losing the important fisheries Louisiana provides would be hugely detrimental to recreational fishing in other areas.
Coastal Louisiana is home to hundreds of species of fish and wildlife. It supports world-class inshore and offshore commercial and recreational fishing opportunities and hunting across the Mississippi Flyway. The area has also lost 2,300 square miles of land since the 1930s, an area larger than the state of Delaware.
For more information on coastal Louisiana restoration and opportunities, please visit www.vanishingparadise.org.