The Louisiana Senate will be voting on Senate Bill 132 within the next couple of hours. This bill would change the Louisiana Scenic Rivers Act to allow unlimited dreding and clearing in some of our Scenic Rivers, including the Amite River, Pearl River, Tchefuncte River, Bogue Falaya River, Abita River, Comite River, and Bayou Manchac.
Dredging and clearing can increase flooding. As this bill is written, the state would not be allowed to evaluate and reject proposals that would damage property, public assets like bridges and roads, and the wildlife that depend on our Scenic Rivers. This is bad bill that seeks to solve a problem that doesn't exist. In fact, during the House hearing, no situation in which scenic streams permitting had been a problem could be cited.
Simple changes to the current bill could maintain the process to properly address permit applications with the information needed to make the assessment and decision.
Call on your state senator now. You can find your state senator's info here)
Please call and tell your legislator:
- Vote to amend SB 132 to allow the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to continue to have oversight over our scenic rivers and the activities that take place on them.
- Vote against the bill if not amended.
The floods in 2016 touched so many of our family and friends. We all recognize the need to control the terrible impacts of flooding. However, interfering with the river's ability to maintain itself has consequences on communities and wildlife that could be difficult, expensive, and maybe impossible to reverse. Decisions that impact flood control and river management must be made based on good information and provide meaningful participation in the permitting process, especially for those who might be impacted by those decisions.
The Wild and Scenic Rivers program is working and these streams and rivers deserve to be properly managed so that they continue to provide services such as floodwater storage, fish and wildlife habitat, and opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy their beauty. Please make a call today to urge your state senator to protect our Scenic Rivers and communities.
Matt is GRN's Senior Policy Director