First REELS Class Graduates
Anglers Bettering Louisiana’s Estuaries and Louisiana Sea Grant (LSG) completed their first Recreational Engagement and Ecological Learning Series (REELS).
REELS is a pilot program to educate local charter captains on Louisiana’s ecosystems, coastal planning, restoration, risk reduction, black mangroves and ecotourism through hands-on and classroom learning activities. The goal is for charter captains to share the information they learn with their clients and provide them with the tools to incorporate ecotourism into their guiding services.
“The participants did a fantastic job. They were engaged with the material and eager to participate in the hands-on activities. They also really enjoyed taking the kids fishing, as it was the first time many of the kids were on a boat,” said Dominique Seibert, program instructor and LSG/LSU AgCenter marine extension agent.
“After my recent completion of the REELS program, I would highly recommend other charter guides to participate. The program instructor does a great job making the class fun but very educational at the same time. The program taught various things about the Louisiana coast and its different ecosystems. Being a non-native of Louisiana, I was amazed at how you can learn, even if you have lived here your entire life. I would participate again down the road to keep up with the changes and ensure to help save Louisiana’s precious resources.” said participant Joe Ventrello.
The next program will be held in the spring and summer of 2024. If interested in participating, contact Seibert at [email protected] or (504) 458-2397. Participants are compensated for their time, and classes/activities are held in the St. Bernard Parish area.
PHOTO Caption: First REELS class members (from left) Joe Ventrello, Jaron Thomas, Jimmy Corley, Monty Montelongo, Chad St. Pé and Donald Duplantier.