By Brian Jackson, Environmental Defense Fund
Last week, Oxfam America and the Louisiana State University (LSU) School of Social Work co-hosted a two-day workshop (Nov. 15-16) on LSU's campus in Baton Rouge, La. about how to put Gulf State residents back to work restoring and improving their coast. The Working Environments Workshop brought together local and national architects, academics, state and parish officials, non-governmental organizations, community advocates, and business interests to discuss how to create sustainable "working environments" across the Gulf.
Economic development opportunities for the Gulf Coast included job creation via renewable energy creation, resilient housing construction, and coastal wetlands restoration.
"There was a lot of enthusiasm in the room, people were very interested in the job creation opportunities that restoration could provide, especially in coastal Louisiana," said Environmental Defense Fund's Community Resiliency Specialist Brian Jackson, who participated in the workshop. "In addition, jobs in coastal restoration or construction of resilient housing and infrastructure have a huge potential for employing local workers and being a source of local innovation exportable to the world.”