DVIDS – NEWS – New Orleans engineers working hard to protect bald eagles and wildlife in project areas

When engaged on any venture, one of many foremost tasks of the US Military Corps of Engineers is to find out how that venture will have an effect on those that stay in that space. Not solely individuals, but in addition the pure habitats of fish and wildlife that go by means of that space or name it dwelling.

In line with Bradley Druant, a senior venture supervisor for the New Orleans space for USACE, the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane and Storm Hazard Discount System (WSLP) venture is certainly one of many such initiatives undertaken by people working within the New Orleans space for USACE.

“The WSLP is being constructed to scale back the danger of hurricanes and tropical storms for a lot of residents within the East Financial institution parishes of St. John Baptist and St. Charles. The development of this roughly 18.5-mile system will lead to direct impacts on roughly 1,380 acres of wetlands, Derwent stated.

Patrick Smith, a biologist with the Division of Environmental Research within the US Military New Orleans District, famous that the Corps personnel engaged on the WSLP venture are diligent after they think about how the initiatives may have an effect on the completely different species that stay in that space, whether or not they be aquatic (fish, crayfish and freshwater shrimp), avian (owls, eagles, herons and egrets), or terrestrial (crocodiles, turtles, frogs, salamanders, snakes, squirrels and rabbits).

Smith famous that one species that was lately eliminated (or deleted) from the threatened species checklist, the bald eagle, will be seen close to the WSLP venture space.

“The Corps personnel are pursuing an aggressive surveillance plan for bald eagles and colonial waterfowl in coordination with state and federal useful resource businesses,” Smith stated. This consists of twice-yearly airborne surveys of bald eagles and colonial waterfowl and their nesting and nesting behaviour. If colonial nesting websites and eagles’ nests are noticed within the venture space, particular actions could happen to scale back and decrease venture impacts, together with work restrictions as much as 1,500 toes from bald eagle nesting.”
As of the final airborne survey carried out in December 2022, no nesting websites of bald eagles or bald eagles have been noticed within the WSLP’s Hurricane and Storm Hazard Discount System venture space.

Smith acknowledged that bald eagle numbers in Louisiana and throughout a lot of its vary within the contiguous United States have been growing since lows within the Nineteen Seventies. Its resurgence over the previous a number of a long time is believed to be as a consequence of federal actions, such because the 1973 ban of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), the Clear Water Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Safety Act, and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Their numbers have been so low that from 1967 to 1995 they have been listed as susceptible underneath the European Area Company.

Smith famous that from 1995 till the bald eagle was delisted in 2007, it was thought-about an endangered species. The Louisiana Division of Wildlife and Fisheries estimates there are about 350 lively nests in Louisiana, Smith stated, in comparison with roughly 5 breeding pairs within the Nineteen Seventies. Bald eagles are on the prime of the meals internet and feed totally on fish. Most Louisiana bald eagles are migratory, with many particular person birds returning yearly to their birthplace.

Along with bald eagles, Smith famous that the venture space can be recognized to assist colonial-period nesting waterfowl (herons, egrets, and so on.) which might be protected by the Migratory Hen Treaty Act. Additionally, two aquatic species which might be at the moment on the threatened wildlife checklist – the Gulf sturgeon and the West Indian manatee – are recognized to frequent the venture space. For aquatic animals akin to manatees, all personnel related to initiatives in work areas are notified of their potential presence and are required to observe particular protocols when these animals are current.

“The Corps of Engineers understands the significance of being good stewards of the environment, defending the sources and wildlife that stay within the areas wherein we function,” stated Drouant. “We take this into consideration as a lot as attainable when engaged on initiatives designed to profit the individuals who go to and stay in Louisiana.”

Appointment booked: 01.17.2023
Announcement date: 01/17/2023 10:24
Story ID: 436,816
Location: New Orleans, Los Angeles, United States

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