It's that time of year again—time to help 'Keep Louisiana Beautiful,' by tackling the litter problem.
Littering can have a dangerous impact on the environment. That's why Love The Boot Week (April 17-23) is a statewide initiative designed to spread awareness and encourage residents to do their part.
So, the next time you have a piece of garbage or something to recycle, just remember, don't pollute. Love The Boot!
According to Erin Fenstermaker, Zoosiana's Curator of Education and Behavioral Husbandry, littering harms both people and wildlife.
"Fish, birds especially are known for getting caught in plastic, whether it's coke can rings, or even just wrappers...Plastic, grocery bags, all of those items are definitely detrimental," Fenstermaker said.
Zoosiana employees have tightened their rules and regulations this year in an effort to protect their animals.
Now, straws and lids for fountain drinks are not allowed on the premises.
Carrie Salyers is a Biologist from Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Salyers said when people pollute the environment with trash, they may contribute to the decline in various fish populations.
"Many species mistake plastic debris for food or inadvertently ingest plastic debris while feeding or swimming," Salyers said in a statement. "Once ingested, this debris can damage their digestive tract and interfere with an animal's ability to feed, leading to starvation or other negative health effects."
However, trash, plastic and other objects are not the only littering concerns in the state.
Brady McKellar, Managing Director of Bayou Vermilion District said chemicals are also contaminating the Vermilion River and other waterways.
"Right now, we're having big issues with septic tank damage," McKellar said. "That pushes bad chemicals and fecal materials into the Bayou as well and so that can have a sort of big impact on that sort of chemical balance of the water."
McKellar said Louisiana homeowners can receive free, septic tests by signing up for the service through the Bayou Vermilion District.
Any volunteers interested in cleaning up Louisiana for Love The Boot Week, can also sign up here Volunteer - Keep Louisiana Beautiful.