The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources has added another new feature to its Atchafalaya Basin Program website – giving people who work and play in the Basin the chance to share some of the memories and experiences by posting photos on the site.

The Department overhauled and re-launched its Atchafalaya Basin Program website last fall, giving it a new look with new tools, making it a more valuable resource for using and learning about the Basin.

The newest feature, accessible on the right-hand side of the site under “Basin Pics,” offers the opportunity to e-mail a photo, caption and other information to a secure DNR site for review and posting. Photos should be appropriate to public website, but can be on any subject matter related to activity in the Basin, from hunting or fishing trips to amateur nature shots.

“I’m excited to provide to this feature to the people who enjoy the natural resources of the Basin and want to share their experiences with others,” said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle. “This is a convenient and appropriate way for people to spread the word about one of Louisiana’s signature attractions to people from both inside and outside the state.”

The redesign of the site - available online here - was spurred in part by the new and proposed changes to the way Basin projects are developed, chosen, and funded. The site redesign not only included new visual elements that better reflect the unique character of the Basin, but functions that make the site of real use to people working, fishing or exploring the Basin.

The site includes links to the U.S. Geological Survey’s web-based tracking of water levels in the basin and has up-to-date weather for the Basin area and links to parishes and tourism groups with ties to the Basin area and links to sportsman’s web sites.

As additional work is done to the web site, it will be the location to find notices of meetings important to the Basin, such as the Atchafalaya Basin Research and Promotion

Board’s regular meetings and the upcoming public meetings to allow citizens and groups to review existing projects and offer new project ideas to improve water quality and reduce sediment in the Atchafalaya Basin.

The public meetings are part of the newly established process for ecosystem restoration in the Basin, including new elements of transparency in planning and efficiency in developing water quality improvement and sediment reduction projects.

The Atchafalaya Basin Program’s Research and Promotion Board met recently to hear an outline of the progress that has been made in the first year of its new annual plan process and the schedule for the rest of the work to be done before the upcoming regular legislative session.

The schedule as laid out to the Board calls for the program’s Technical Advisory Group to review and prioritize suggest projects by Jan. 31 and deliver a draft plan to the Board by Feb. 5. The Board then will hold public hearings on the plan on Feb. 9 and Feb. 11, and meet to consider the final plan on Feb. 19, before forwarding it to the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority for consideration at a March 19 meeting.

If all goes according to schedule, the Board will pass the final proposed plan on to the state Legislature by April 27 for consideration in the regular legislative session.

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