St. Charles Herald-Guide

Elmer's Island would make a great state park

By Allen Lottinger - July 19, 2006

Elmerís Island - - that choice piece of real estate at the bottom of Lafourche Parish on the Gulf of Mexico - - may become public land.

That is good news for sportsmen and everyone else in Louisiana. It can become a great state park with prime fishing, bird-watching and beaching available to all.

Under private ownership, the island originally was open to the public through a toll road. Many people made good use of it.

But lately, the road has been closed and access to the beachfront there was only by boat. The 1,700 acres reportedly was up for sale.

According to U. S. Sen. David Vitter, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill this week which includes $1.75 million for Louisiana to acquire it.

The island has low dunes, mud and sand flats, marsh, lagoons and a tidal channel. It is a great place for camping.

The surf off Elmerís Island is one of the most productive spots in the nation for speckled trout fishing. And redfish abound in Caminada Pass which separates it from Grand Isle.
Louisiana canít lose by making Elmerís Island a state park. Not only will it provide our own residents with a wonderful recreation spot but will undoubtedly attract many tourists from outside the state.

With the state in control, it can also help us in our coastal restoration efforts. It is at the southern end of a large area of Louisiana wetlands that must be preserved for our future protection and prosperity.

Passage by the appropriations committee is only the first step in securing the funding but it is usually the most important step. The bill is expected for move to the U. S. Sente floor for a vote later this year.