Lake Martin Initiative! Let's restore Lake Martin to what it was intended for.

Lake Martin Initiative! Let's restore Lake Martin to what it was intended for.

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Lake Martin Initiative started this petition to Louisiana Lieutenant Govener. Billy Nungesser and

Please take a few minutes out of your day to sign this petition, help preserve Lake Martin. Over a half million dollars in public funds have been invested in Lake Martin. Preserve our public land now by signing this petition.  

Here is why:

As you may know, Lake Martin is in need of attention. No longer can this "wild west" attitude, with every man for himself, be tolerated. It has gotten so bad that the parish of St. Martin has stopped maintenance on the levee that could become a flood issue should the levee become weak and ineffective. Most recently, the public access to the lake has been severely restricted to a small kayak launch, a half of a mile away from parking, on land around the lake that is owned by The Nature Conservancy. The public boat landing is now closed off with "no trespassing" signs by the private land owners even though the land is under a servitude owned by the La. Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries. For years now, the lake and the land surrounding it have been trashed and rutted up by the public without any government authority (e.g. sheriff) responding to complaints. Volunteers and volunteer groups (e.g Friends of Lake Martin) have conducted trash bashes in the past that have been helpful.

      History on Lake Martin: Before 1950 "Lake Martin" didn't exist; there was a much smaller lake known as Lake LaPointe. Legislation was passed and created the St. Martin-Lafayette Game and Fish Preserve commission, and was overseen by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. A 5 mile levee was constructed on private lands, by permission granted through a servitude, that flooded the inside of the levee ring, creating a swamp environment to nuture fishing habitats, turning the 200 acre Lake LaPointe into the 800 Lake Martin as we know it today. The servitude agreements put in place guarantee the state and public access to the land for maintenance purposes and recreational use. A public boat launch was built in the 1960's using public dollars on 25 year lease and a one time renewal on the lease. In 1982 the commission that oversaw the lake was abolished, and its powers and charge were transferred to the LDWF. 

      I recently talked to one of the eight land owners, (the land where the boat launch is situated is in a private trust). He was present when the lake was constructed, and is upset about the whole situation. This man is a very humble and generous man. He wants to see Lake Martin returned to what the state legislation commissioned, and what he and his family intended for the lake to be, a beautiful scenic swampy paradise for all to use and enjoy. He wants to donate the property that the public landing sits on to St. Martin Parish government. He wants this to happen quickly because thousands of locals and tourists visit Lake Martin every year. 

But he has concerns about how the whole process will unfold. Here is what needs to happen:

1) Preserve the natural environment of Lake Martin for generations to come and to ensure a healthy habitat for birds, fish, and water fowl. 

2) The levee around Lake Martin must remain functional to prevent a levee breach. 

3) A commission similar to the one that oversaw Lake Martin in the past, should be recreated to oversee improvements and various aspects of the lake and surrounding lands (working boat launch; water quality monitoring; zoning ordinance enforcement; kiosk with information about hunting and fishing; trash cans; parking are improvements; etc.).

4) A set of rules and guidelines that govern the numerous tour boats operators who use the lake to make a living should be developed.

5) The current zoning ordinance must be enforced as it prevents permanent commercial buildings and signage on the lake shore to maintain the scenic view of the lake. 

     If you are interested in the situation or would like to help in any way please visit Facebook and join the group Lake Martin Initiative!!!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!