Hurricane Rita scattered residential, industrial and vegetative
debris throughout the Calcasieu Lake estuary system, creating
a hazard for recreational and commercial boaters, as well
as their vessels and gear. In an attempt to make the waters
safer, and to guide future cleanup operations, the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of
Coast Survey, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program (Louisiana
Sea Grant), Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), Lake
Charles Power Squadron, LSU AgCenter, Louisiana Department
of Wildlife and Fisheries, and Lake Charles Pilots have
teamed up to mark and map as much of this marine debris
are needed in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes for the Marine
Debris Marking and Mapping Project on Calcasieu Lake, Moss
Lake and West Cove from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, June
24. Volunteers will be provided with maps and markers and
will travel in their own boats to assigned areas of the
lake to look for debris. They will mark floating debris
with foam floats, and submerged debris will be marked with
PVC pipe. Volunteers will remove any small debris they can
safely bring to shore and will be asked to write down the
location of all debris they mark. Additionally, boaters
and residents are asked to report the location of any marine
hazards they have encountered in these areas at: www.laseagrant.org/debris/.
should meet at 8 a.m., Saturday, June 24, 2006, at Calcasieu
Point Landing, 3955 Henry Pugh Blvd., in Lake Charles to
register and pick up supplies. Registered volunteers will
be treated to lunch and drinks.
Lake is roughly 18 miles long and 10 miles across at its
widest point and is part of a much larger estuary system
fed by the Calcasieu River. These waters are used by charter
boat operators and recreational fishermen alike. The area
supports oyster, crab, and shrimp harvesting, contains a
deep-draft shipping channel, and offers Gulf of Mexico access
at the town of Cameron.
immediate goal of this project is to assist in Louisiana’s
hurricane recovery by reducing storm-driven navigation hazards
and environmental threats. The long-term objective is to
facilitate a cleanup of the Calcasieu estuary and to educate
people about marine debris.
graphics of the three survey sites (Calcasieu Lake, Moss
Lake to the north, and West Cove to the south-southwest)
were assembled by NOAA, and these locations were divided
into transects approximately every 100 meters. Each transect
has been assigned an exclusive number to eliminate duplicate
effort. GPS coordinates for both the beginning and end of
each transect will be provided, and volunteers are asked
to follow one complete transect line the day of the survey.
Any large marine debris encountered will be described, logged
using GPS (LAT/LON), and uniformly marked.
that has the potential to shift, move or sink with the tidal
current will be marked with an orange foam bullet float.
These floats were carefully selected so as to not interfere
with U.S. Coast Guard markers and other navigational aids.
Stationary or submerged debris will be flagged with 1.5-inch
diameter PVC pipe pushed into the soft lake bottom. Note
that none of these markers are officially sanctioned aids
location of marine debris hazards reported by volunteers
will be combined and mapped by NOAA. This information will
be available online as they are completed.
second phase of this project will use side-scan sonar to
assess and map submerged debris that is not visible above
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