BTNEP appoints Ornithological Society VP

Staff Report

     THIBODAUX – Delaina LeBlanc, Migratory Birds Coordinator for the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP), was recently appointed Vice President of the Louisiana Ornithological Society board.

     LeBlanc, who has been a member of LOS for four years, was invited by Donna Dittman, a long standing LOS member to serve as the vice president. The term is for one year. According to Dittman and Steve Cardiff, another member of LOS, the two said it was an honor to nominate LeBlanc for Vice President of LOS and they were pleased to see her officially elected on 29 October at the LOS Fall Meeting at Cameron, LA. “Over the past decade we have become good friends with Delaina through our collaborations on various bird survey projects, conservation initiatives, and outreach events. Delaina’s affiliation with BTNEP and her knowledge and experience at networking with other government and non-governmental organizations combined with excellent birding skills, a good foundation in science, and great common sense and patience made her a perfect choice to become an officer of LOS,” said the members.

     LOS was organized in 1947 to gather and disseminate accurate information concerning the bird life of  the western hemisphere and of Louisiana. The group promotes interest in and appreciation of the value of birds, both aesthetic and economic, which will ensure wiser conservation of our bird life. They also promote opportunity for acquaintance and fellowship among those interested in nature. LOS is a statewide organization for birders and ornithologists. The group organizes quarterly gatherings in different parts of the state, publishes a journal on Louisiana ornithology, publishes a quarterly newsletter for its members, and hosts a website with information regarding Louisiana birds. In 1995, LOS recognized and honored LeBlanc for her strong contributions to Louisiana shorebird research and habitat restoration.

     “I am honored to work with the members of the Louisiana Ornithological Society to help support birds and birding in Louisiana,” LeBlanc said. “I look forward to continuing the promotion of bird conservation in the state of Louisiana.”

     LeBlanc began working with BTNEP in 2007 as a contracted employee. She was hired to the staff in 2013. Along with BTNEP, she has worked with the National Audubon Coastal Bird Conservation Program studying nesting Wilson’s Plovers and Least Terns along southeast Louisiana’s coastal region. At BTNEP, LeBlanc is responsible for the management of Piping Plover Monitoring on the Caminada Headland and Red Knot research in Grand Isle. She coordinates bird surveys, management of data,

promotion of bird conservation and outreach. She actively supports several Louisiana birding festivals and was a leader in establishing the bird banding station at the Woodlands Trail and Park southeast of New Orleans. She is also an artist whose work features subject matter that calls attention to coastal land loss and bird preservation issues.

     BTNEP is one of the 28 national estuary programs in the United States. All or parts of sixteen Louisiana parishes are located in the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary system. The organization was established under the EPA Clean Water Act to protect coastal resources. BTNEP is a partnership of government, businesses, scientists, conservation organizations, agricultural interests and individuals for the preservation, protection, and restoration for the Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary in southeast Louisiana.