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US Department of Commerce Letterhead


June 10, 1997


Watershed Evaluation Team (WET) members
Barataria/Terrebonne Shellfish Challenge Initiative


Dan Farrow, NOAA SEA Division
Fred Kopfler, Gulf of Mexico Program
Tom Herrington, Gulf of Mexico Program
Brent Ache, Battelle New Orleans


Review of the Marina Pumpout Characterization Report and Update on the Parish President Briefings

Characterization Report Review

Enclosed is the first draft of the Characterization Report to Install New and Improve Use of Marina Pumpouts. Although there are still information gaps in the report, we would like the WET members to review this draft and provide feedback as to whether the information content and level of detail is sufficient to allow the WET to make a recommendation about whether or not to proceed with implementation of this project. If you chose, use Attachment 1 to make comments for each section of the report.

Although your comments on all parts of the report are important, please pay particular attention to Section 11 Detailed Restoration Strategy Description. As written, this section contains a list of possible actions that would promote installation and improved use of pumpouts. However, these actions are not organized into an operational plan that specifies when, how, and by whom these actions will be undertaken. Should a proposed plan be included in this report, or should the development of this operational "game plan" take place subsequent to the WET's recommendation concerning implementation feasibility?

The schedule for completing first drafts of the Characterization Reports is shown below:

Characterization Report First Draft to WET Receive WET comments Final Draft to WET
Improve Use of Marina Pumpouts June 10, 1997 June 24, 1997 July 15, 1997
Bayou Petit Caillou Sewerage June 20, 1997 July 7, 1997 July 28, 1997
Grand Bayou Sewerage June 27, 1997 July 11, 1997 July 28, 1997
Larose to Golden Meadow Storm Water Control June 27, 1997 July 11, 1997 August 1, 1997
Revise Shellfish Relay System July 3, 1997 July 18, 1997 August 1, 1997

Once the final drafts for all five reports have been completed, the project team will organize a meeting, tentatively planned for Wednesday, August 6, at which the WET members will discuss the relative feasibility of each project and make a recommendation about which of the five projects profiled should be taken forward to implementation. The WET will also be asked to indicate their preference as to which project(s) should be the focus of an Implementation Planning Meeting in September/October.

The recommendations from this WET meeting will be presented to the BTNEP Management Conference at their next meeting, and the Conference will be asked to comment on and endorse the recommendations. If they concur, the project team would start to organize the fall Implementation Planning Meeting, the purpose of which is bring stakeholders and decisionmakers together to develop a detailed strategy for promoting implementation and obtaining commitments for action from individuals and organizations.

Parish President Briefings

At the April 14th meeting, WET members stressed the importance of informing Parish Presidents about the Shellfish Challenge Initiative and the priority shellfish restoration project in their parish. The project team has worked with each Parish representative to help organize these briefings and has provided the representatives with a set of talking points that describe the Shellfish Challenge Initiative, the restoration project prioritization process, the feasibility characterization, and issues of concern. The strategy in conducting these meetings is to make the Parish Presidents aware of the Shellfish Challenge Initiative's status and to provide a "courtesy" briefing prior to the President seeing any news articles or fielding any constituent questions about the project in their parish.

If you have questions about the draft Characterization Report, next steps in the Shellfish Challenge Initiative, or the briefings for the Parish Presidents, please contact Fred Kopfler (601- 688- 2712) or Tom Herrington (601- 688-79410) at the Gulf of Mexico Program, Dan Farrow (301- 713-3000 x 156) at NOAA's Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) Division, or Brent Ache (504 -561-6618) at Battelle, New Orleans office.

Attachments (1)

Gulf of Mexico Program Office
Mail Code: EPA/GMPO
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000
FAX: 228-688-2709

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