The LSU AgCenter has announced a conference on the Atchafalaya on Jan. 10-11 at the Embassy Suites hotel in Baton Rouge.
Organized by the AgCenter’s School of Renewable Natural Resources and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, the program will focus on ecosystem functions of the river from the Old River Control Structure to the continental shelf.
“The purposes of this meeting are to review what is know about the river and its associated environments, to report on recent and ongoing research and to identify information gaps that complicate decision making by land managers, water managers and policymakers,” said Andy Nyman, associate professor in the AgCenter’s School of Renewable Natural Resources.
Nyman, who specializes in wetland wildlife management, said the conference will cover three major topics:
• Hydrology: flow, nutrient dynamics and water quality.
• Geomorphology: sedimentation, especially in context of navigation and habitat change.
• Ecology: status and trends of wildlife, fisheries, forests, marshes, exotic species and human communities.
The Atchafalaya River Basin is managed partly for navigation but primarily as a floodway that receives water from the Mississippi and Red rivers and is undergoing rapid changes as it develops as a distributary, Nyman said. Understanding this complex system is difficult because it is being changed by the Atchafalaya River itself and by people, intentionally and otherwise.
Cost for registering is $50 for one day and $75 for two days. A registration form and more information about the conference are available online at www.crcl.org/atchafalaya.html.