Archive for Economics


World Water Day 2016: Louisiana, Water and Coastal Restoration Jobs

March 22, 2016 | Posted by Emily McCalla in coastal restoration, Economics, Economy, Job Creation, Restoration Projects, Videos

Today (March 22) is the United Nations’ World Water Day – an international observance and opportunity to learn about water-related issues, be inspired and teach others, and take action to make a difference.

Today, almost half of the world's workers – 1.5 billion people – work in water-related sectors, and nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery. Each year, the UN sets a theme for World Water Day corresponding to a current or future challenge. This year’s theme, “Water and Jobs,” focuses on how the quantity and quality of water can change workers' lives and livelihoods and even transform societies and economies for the better.

Water offers Louisianians nearly unlimited economic potential; but, in contrast, it poses a major threat to our coast, and the people and wildlife that call south Louisiana home. This is why coastal restoration is imperative for our vanishing coast – not only as protection against storm surge, but also to preserve the estuaries that produce 25% of American seafood, habitat for the 100 million birds that pass through the Mississippi River Delta each year, and home of nearly 2 million people living in or near the delta.

In Louisiana’s Coastal Zone, the water management sector – which includes coastal restoration, coastal protection and urban water management – is now the fastest growing industry, driving economic expansion and eclipsing the oil and gas sector in creating new jobs, according to a recent study by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition using research by The Data Center.

Coastal restoration and protection is not only the biggest jobs creator in coastal Louisiana, it has some of the highest-paying jobs, averaging $69,277 per year.

So what is coastal restoration anyway and what does it look like? The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, a member of the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, has produced a video, A View of Restoration from the Barataria Basin, which gives a high-level overview of the issue, the impacts and causes of coastal land loss and an in-depth view of the different restoration projects occurring in the Barataria Basin.

Watch A View of Restoration from the Barataria Basin below for a better sense of how coastal restoration projects all work together to help restore our coast.

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Hottest Jobs in South Louisiana? Saving the Coast

March 16, 2016 | Posted by Emily McCalla in coastal restoration, Economics, Economy, Job Creation, Reports

Looking for the industry with the fastest growth and some of the best-paying jobs in coastal Louisiana?

Saving Louisiana’s vanishing coastline is now the fastest growing industry along Louisiana’s coast, driving economic expansion and eclipsing the oil and gas sector in creating new jobs. Coastal restoration and protection is not only the biggest jobs creator in coastal Louisiana – it has some of the highest-paying jobs, averaging $69,277 per year.

This hot job market is expected to get even hotter as hundreds of millions of dollars from the Gulf oil disaster – funds solely dedicated to restoring and preserving the coast – flow into the state over the next 16 years. These findings and more can be found in a new economic analysis by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, based on methodology by The Data Center.

By the numbers:

Southeast Louisiana: Jobs in water management – which includes coastal restoration, coastal protection and urban water management – have exploded in recent years, totaling more than 32,000 jobs in southeast Louisiana alone. By comparison, oil and gas provides 26,000 jobs to the region.

Major industries SE region

As Louisiana emerged from the depths of the recession in 2010, the growth in the water management industry demonstrates that this sector will be a critical driver of prosperity for the state’s future. Coastal restoration has created more than 5,700 new jobs in the region since 2010 and is expected to continue to grow.

Job Growth SE region

Southwest Louisiana: Though oil and gas remains the largest economic driver in southwest Louisiana, coastal restoration has seen a significantly higher net gain of jobs since 2010 and is now the second largest economic driver in the region.

Major industries SW region

The coastal restoration and protection industry has remained stable in southwest Louisiana at 12,000 jobs since 2014, while oil and gas suffered a net loss of approximately 3,000 jobs between 2014 and 2015. Jobs in water management have experienced a net gain of 3,784 jobs since 2010 in southwest Louisiana.

Job growth SW region

What’s driving this hot job market?

 This industry is growing because of an urgency to restore and protect the wetlands that are Louisiana’s first line of defense against rising seas and storms, combined with the hundreds of millions of dollars from the BP oil spill settlement and pollution penalties – money dedicated to coastal restoration – as well as Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) funds and other sources coming to the state.

Coastal restoration not only helps to protect the people, industries and wildlife that call Louisiana’s coast home, it also fuels economic growth faster than any other single business sector in the region. The industry also provides good-paying jobs for Louisianians, averaging $69,277 per year. Investment in water management is a major win-win for the people, environment and economy of south Louisiana.

About this report

The analysis was conducted by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, which includes Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. It was produced using The Data Center’s methodology.

Our press release and full report can be found online.

Learn why coastal restoration is urgently needed to protect and grow businesses in Louisiana and across the Gulf. Visit OurCoastOurEconomy.org.

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LA Business Organizations Tout Significant Economic Potential of Coastal Restoration to Gov. Edwards

March 14, 2016 | Posted by Emily McCalla in 2012 Coastal Master Plan, coastal restoration, Economy, Job Creation, Media Resources, State Legislature

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, evancleve@edf.org
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, jhebert@audubon.org
Jimmy Frederick, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, 225.317.2046, jimmy.frederick@crcl.org
John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, 504.421.7348, jlopez@saveourlake.org
Caitlin Berni, Greater New Orleans, Inc., 504.527.6980, cberni@gnoinc.org

Louisiana Business Organizations Tout Significant Economic Potential of Coastal Restoration to Governor John Bel Edwards

Groups Urge Edwards to Protect Coastal Funding, Advance Master Plan for Long-term Prosperity of State

(New Orleans – March 14, 2016) Today, the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition sent a letter to Governor John Bel Edwards signed by 29 Louisiana business associations, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and civic groups urging him to protect funding for coastal restoration and to move forward with the implementation of the state’s Coastal Master Plan. The groups thanked Governor Edwards for his leadership in protecting coastal restoration funds from mid-year budget cuts and for his continued statements that coastal funds should only be used for coastal restoration and protection.

“Our ongoing land loss crisis creates significant business risks to the many industries that depend on a healthy Gulf ecosystem,” said the letter. “A recent study prepared for the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority evaluated the economic impact of coastal land loss in the state. Their report showed that another 25 years of continued land loss would cost residents and business owners $2.1 billion to replace commercial and residential properties, roads, rails and pipelines lost due to erosion. Disruption to business activities during that same time period would cause an additional loss of $5.8 billion. Implementing our Coastal Master Plan can help reduce such losses.”

“Investing in coastal restoration will not only reduce the economic impact to businesses and communities, but will actually grow the economy through development of a new water management sector and expertise,” continued the letter. “The expected infusion of billions of dollars in coming years from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlements, GOMESA and other sources will fuel the creation of jobs and expansion of companies working in this sector.”

A recent analysis by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition based on The Data Center’s methodology shows that water management – which includes coastal restoration, coastal protection and urban water management – is the fastest growing industry in southeast Louisiana, with more than 32,000 jobs. Coastal restoration is not only the biggest job creator in the region, it also has some of the highest-paying jobs, averaging $69,277 per year.

“Coastal restoration projects will not only rebuild our vanishing coast – they will create and sustain jobs, protect communities and provide a sustainable future for the people and industries that call Louisiana home,” said Steve Cochran, Campaign Director for the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition. “By safeguarding coastal dollars for coastal efforts, the state is keeping its commitment to restoring and protecting Louisiana’s coast.”

“Coastal restoration and protection will create long-lasting, good-paying jobs and be an economic driver for Louisiana,” said Michael Hecht, President of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “As evidenced in GNO, Inc.’s ‘State of the Sector: Water Management’ report, there are currently 30,350 people employed in the water management sector in the Greater New Orleans region. Additionally, this sector is predicted to grow by 23 percent over the next ten years. And with the influx of hundreds of millions of dollars in oil spill money for coastal restoration over the next 16 years – money that is dedicated solely to this growing industry – we will continue to create jobs and provide economic opportunities for the people and industries of coastal Louisiana.”

“The citizens and businesses of Louisiana are relying on you, as our new governor, to prioritize coastal restoration, protect coastal restoration funding and continue to implement restoration plans,” concluded the letter. “Thank you for your continuing attention to this top priority for Louisiana business interests and citizens.”

Read the letter in full along with all signers here: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/blog/2016/03/14/mrd-coalition-sends-governor-edwards-letter-touting-economic-potential-of-coastal-restoration/.

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The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Composed of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. Learn more at MississippiRiverDelta.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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MRD Coalition Sends Governor Edwards Letter Touting Economic Potential of Coastal Restoration

| Posted by Emily McCalla in coastal restoration, Economics, Economy, Job Creation, State Legislature

Today, the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition sent a letter to Governor John Bel Edwards signed by 29 Louisiana business associations, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and civic groups urging him to protect funding for coastal restoration and to move forward with the implementation of the state’s Coastal Master Plan. The groups thanked Governor Edwards for his leadership in protecting coastal restoration funds from mid-year budget cuts and for his continued statements that coastal funds should only be used for coastal restoration and protection.

View the full letter below:

JBE1 JBE2 JBE3

 

 

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Water Management Industry Eclipses Oil & Gas as Jobs Leader in SE Louisiana, 2nd Across Coastal Zone

February 24, 2016 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in coastal restoration, Economics, Economy, Job Creation, Media Resources, Reports

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, evancleve@edf.org
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, jhebert@audubon.org
Jimmy Frederick, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, 225.317.2046, jimmy.frederick@crcl.org
John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, 504.421.7348, jlopez@saveourlake.org

Water Management Industry Eclipses Oil and Gas as Jobs Leader in Southeast Louisiana, Second Across Entire Coastal Zone

Rapidly growing industry brings high-paying jobs, helps grow Louisiana economy

(NEW ORLEANS – February 25, 2016) The water management sector represents the largest economic driver in southeast Louisiana and the second largest in southwest Louisiana, according to new analysis released today by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition. Economic drivers, such as water management, oil and gas, maritime, petrochemical, video production, and hospitality and tourism, are industries that drive regional growth and are indicators of economic development. With nearly 44,000 jobs, water management is the second largest industry driver across the entire Louisiana Coastal Zone – second only to oil and gas. In southeast Louisiana, the water management industry has eclipsed the oil and gas, maritime and hospitality industries as the leading jobs creator.

The water management industry is growing faster than any other major sector within Louisiana’s Coastal Zone and has the highest average wage among driver industries – $69,277 per year. And while other industries have been losing jobs, water management – which includes coastal restoration, coastal protection and urban water management – has added more than 5,700 jobs in southeast Louisiana since 2010 and provides significant opportunities for Louisiana workers.

Also today, Greater New Orleans, Inc. released its State of the Sector report on the water management industry. This analysis focuses on specifics of current and future water management workforce/job opportunities over the next ten years in the Greater New Orleans region. The report includes detailed information on current workforce demographics, projected top middle and high skill occupations, and sample career ladders. The report also provides insights into the factors driving growth and determining the current and future water management workforce needs in southeast Louisiana. See more at http://gnoinc.org/stateofthesector.

“As our state works to address its budget challenges, it is important to remember that investing in coastal restoration will create jobs and grow the economy, in addition to protecting existing businesses and communities,” said David Muth, National Wildlife Federation’s Gulf Restoration Director, representing the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition. “Investments made today in water management will more than pay off in the long run as our region becomes an economic hub for coastal restoration and climate resiliency, while also helping to protect the people, industries and wildlife that call coastal Louisiana home.”

With the influx of funds from the Gulf oil disaster and other federal sources, the water management sector is poised to continue to grow, fueling the economy of coastal Louisiana and the entire state. In addition to creating well-paying jobs in state, this sector has the potential to be a major export industry for our region, like that of technology for Silicon Valley. Coastal restoration and resiliency expertise gained in Louisiana can be exported to other coastal regions around the world facing similar threats from land subsidence and sea level rise.

“This data confirms that water management is the fastest growing sector in Louisiana. If we make the right decisions and protect coastal funding in the years ahead, we have a golden opportunity to set our region on a course of greater economic prosperity and improved environmental health for generations to come,” said Muth.

The analysis was produced by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, which includes Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. The full analysis can be found on our website here.

Learn why coastal restoration is urgently needed to protect and grow businesses in Louisiana and across the Gulf. Visit OurCoastOurEconomy.org.

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The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Composed of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. Learn more at MississippiRiverDelta.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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New study: Cost of not pursuing significant coastal restoration could reach $133 billion

December 21, 2015 | Posted by jhebert in 2012 Coastal Master Plan, Army Corps of Engineers, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), coastal restoration, Community Resiliency, Economics, Federal Policy, Hurricanes, Reports, Restore the Coast, Science

By Elizabeth Van Cleve, Communications Manager, Environmental Defense Fund

Louisiana has lost nearly 1,900 squares miles of land since the 1930s. Without future action to restore the coast and reverse this trend, the state stands to lose another 1,750 square miles of land by 2060.

This land loss crisis not only impacts the communities, wildlife and ecology of south Louisiana, but it also puts cities, homes, infrastructure and industries at risk. Coastal wetlands serve as a buffer against the effects of waves, storms and sea level rise. The continued loss of wetlands jeopardizes Louisiana’s diverse economy as well as the entire nation that depends on the Mississippi River Delta for shipping, oil and gas, fisheries, tourism and other industries.

A recent study conducted by the Louisiana State University (LSU) and the RAND Corporation aims to measure the future economic impacts of continued coastal land loss. Commissioned by the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), “Economic Evaluation of Coastal Land Loss in Louisiana” provides a quantitative understanding of the economic damages caused by wetlands loss if we don’t take action now to restore the coast.

The two-year study measures the projected economic costs associated with continued land loss under future-with-no-action scenario, including projected damages to capital stock, such as buildings, homes and roads; disruption of economic activity, including employment and trade flows; and changes in ecosystem services and related industries, such as fisheries, tourism and recreation.

Key findings from the report include:

  • $2.1-$3.5 billion: Total replacement cost associated with capital stock at risk from land loss
  • $5.8-$7.4 billion: Total annual output (economic activity) at risk from land loss
  • $10-$133 billion: Increase in storm damage to capital stock
  • $5-$51 billion: Total output lost to increased storm damage

“Every dollar we spend today on coastal restoration and protection will save us many, many more dollars in the future,” said CPRA Board Chairman Chip Kline in a press release. “But beyond being cost-feasible, we’re talking about saving lives, families, homes, business and our way of life. This study by LSU and RAND is important in making our case to Congress and the nation that it is better for many reasons to spend now rather than later.”

Read the full report on CPRA’s website here.

The Times-Picayune (video): Coastal erosion, hurricane could cost Louisiana $133 billion

Learn more about how coastal restoration is important to the economy at OurCoastOurEconomy.org.

RANDLSUCoastalEconomicsStudy

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Vote Now: Which Coastal Restoration Slogan Should Appear on Dirty Coast Products?

July 30, 2015 | Posted by jhebert in Community Resiliency, Economics, Economy, Hurricanes, Job Creation, K10, Restoration Projects, Wildlife tourism

bird

Earlier this month, we put out a call for coastal restoration slogans that could be made into a design to be featured on Dirty Coast t-shirts and other products. We received an overwhelming response of more than 200 highly-creative submissions, making our job of selecting which to feature extremely difficult. So much so that we chose five finalists instead of the originally planned three.

They are: 

  1. The World Needs More Louisiana
  2. Greaux the Delta, Greaux Our Home
  3. Save the Boot
  4. Let the River Run Through It
  5. Keep LAND in Our Wetlands

So, we need YOU to help us decide. Vote here for your favorite slogan today through Thursday August 6.

The slogan receiving the most votes will be made into a design that Dirty Coast will place on t-shirts and other products sold in stores and online over the next year. A portion of sale proceeds will go to the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition to help us educate and engage people about the need for coastal restoration. The person who submits the winning slogan will receive a $200 gift card to Dirty Coast, second place will receive a $100 gift card, and third place a $50 card. All three finalists will receive a coastal tour led by experts in coastal restoration.

We’ll announce the winning slogan and unveil the design at a launch party and happy hour on August 20 at 6 p.m. at Dirty Coast’s new Marigny location (2121 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA).

We hope to see you there!

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Lower 9th Ward CSED Creates Environmental Learning & Research Center

July 15, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Community Resiliency, Economics, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricanes, K10, Mississippi River Gulf Outlet

By Rachel Pickens, Esq., Resiliency Manager for Coastal Outreach & Community Awareness, Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development

"River to the Bayou" is a phrase often spoken by members the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED). When CSED was created in December 2006 by Pam Dashiell and Charles Allen, they envisioned rebuilding a more resilient neighborhood, one that stretches from the Mississippi River to Bayou Bienvenue. Learning from Katrina, they realized that resilience is more than strengthening the built environment – it also requires restoring and protecting the surrounding natural environment.

There is a need for more education and awareness of the importance of our coastal wetlands in communities like the Lower 9th Ward, which have and continue to be disproportionately affected by strong storms. Residents must look out to the coast protect what's in the neighborhood, and in the Lower 9th Ward, that means reconnecting people with the river and the bayou.

site plan

Wetland Education Center site plan

To address this need, CSED is creating a Wetland Education Center for residents to learn and interact with the water that surrounds the neighborhood. The site will run along Florida Ave, between Caffin Ave. and Lamanche St., across the street is the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle and platform. It is composed of four lots, which CSED purchased from the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority in 2013. The first phase of the project, an outdoor classroom, was constructed through a partnership with Tulane's School of Architecture during the 2015 spring semester.

The outdoor classroom includes a bioswale, where the sloped ground collects water that would otherwise cause flooding in the adjoining street. The goal is to retain 100% of all rainwater that falls on the site. Plants in the bioswale include spider lilies, thalias, irises, and soft rush, all plants that live well in wet and boggy soils.

wetland 1

Outdoor classroom bioswale.

The bioswale is divided into three zones, demarcated by oyster benches and oyster trails. The oysters serve as "check dams", which slow down the rainwater and prevent it from eroding the bioswale. The three zones are a visual timeline of the neighboring Bayou Bienvenue. The zone by the entrance, with the diversity of native plants, represents the past, before Bayou Bienvenue was destroyed by the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO). The middle zone represents the current state of the bayou, sparse with only a few switch grasses. The third zone, representing the future, remains unfinished and will be a site for additional plantings.

The site also includes two shaded structures. The first, an outdoor classroom and a second, to be used for kayak storage. Both structures are composed of steel columns and shade cloth that provides 90% UV protection. In front of the structures are rows of silver shower Aztec and purple foundation grass which will help prevent erosion. The outdoor class room also includes an orchard now growing grapefruit, orange, satsuma, kumquat, fig and apple trees, along with a magnolia tree. Program coordinator, Kathy Muse started a butterfly garden in the back part of the site several years ago.

wetland7

Shaded outdoor classroom and kayak storage.

Phase 2 of Wetland Education Center will include the placement of a modular classroom. Designed by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, in partnership with the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the classroom features sustainable building materials and design elements.  It was showcased at the 2014 USGBC Green Build, held in New Orleans. The classroom, which was donated to CSED, will be used as a K-12 environmental education center and research space.

While the Wetland Education Center is still a work in progress, it is currently open to the community and it will be a gathering and learning site for wetland awareness and water management. CSED believes that the first step towards resiliency is education and with the help of the Wetland Education Center, the Lower 9th Ward will become more resilient than ever.

CSED and other environmental groups will be holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for the first phase of the project on August 11th at 10am, following a press event at the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Triangle Platform to discuss the state of our coast 10 years after Hurricane Katrina. For more information on this event, contact Samantha Carter at carterS@nwf.org.

For more information on CSED and how you can get involved, click here.

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We're Partnering with Dirty Coast to Feature YOUR Coastal Restoration Message!

July 13, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Community Resiliency, Economics, Economy, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricanes, K10, Meetings/Events, People, Restoration Projects

As we approach the 10th anniversaries of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita – a time when we all learned about the importance of the Louisiana coast as a first line of defense against storms – Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition and Dirty Coast are partnering to feature YOUR coastal restoration messages on t-shirts, bags, posters and other snazzy products that will be sold in Dirty Coast’s New Orleans stores and across the web to help raise awareness and support for Louisiana coastal restoration.

Louisiana continues to lose a football field of land every hour, and our state has lost 1,900 square miles of land since the 1930s. These wetlands are crucial to protecting our homes and communities from the effects of hurricanes and storm surge. Without action, we stand to lose another 1,000 square miles by 2050. We want to engage people locally and nationally to understand just how important our coast is to the long-term resiliency of southern Louisiana and the entire nation that depends on our region.

That’s where YOU come in! We want to hear YOUR ideas for coastal restoration slogans! The creative wizzes at Dirty Coast are looking for slogans to use to create designs they’ll place on products to educate people around the world about how badly we need our coast restored now.

How It’s Going Down:

  • Submit as many ideas or slogans as you like here from now through July 23, 2015.
  • After July 23, we’ll select the best THREE slogans that most closely align with the positive messages of coastal restoration and have the best potential to make rad t-shirt designs.
  • We'll let YOU vote for the slogan you want to see designed into a t-shirt and other products.
  • The first place slogan will be made into a design Dirty Coast will sell year-round on t-shirts and other products to raise funds for restoration efforts. The person who submits the winning design will receive a $200 gift card to Dirty Coast, second place will receive a $100 gift card, and 3rd place a $50 gift card.
  • We’ll announce the winning design at a launch party on August 20 at Dirty Coast’s new Marigny location (2121 Chartres Street).
  • The winning design will be featured and sold in Dirty Coast stores and online over the next year, with a portion of sale proceeds going to the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition to help educate and engage people about the need for coastal restoration.

Some Tips to Help You Out:

  • Keep it positive: Our situation is grave, but we want to feature positive, proactive messages that convey that solutions are possible Some questions to get your creative juices flowing:
    • What does the Louisiana coast mean to you?
    • Why is it important that the Louisiana coast be restored?
    • How would you explain coastal restoration to a kindergartener?
    • Why is it important that we act now to restore the coast?
  • Keep it simple: The message needs to be easily understood, engaging and memorable.
  • Keep it fun: In case you’re not familiar with Dirty Coast designs, they’re clever, fun and captivating. See some of their designs here for inspiration.

What’s In It for You?

  • Prizes: The person who submits the winning design will receive a $200 gift card to Dirty Coast, second place will receive a $100 gift card, and 3rd place a $50 gift card.
  • Glory: Your winning message will be proudly worn by coastal warriors around the country for generations come, to spread the message of Louisiana coastal restoration.
  • Pride: You can tell your grandkids that you had a hand in the fight to save our coast.

What more reasons do you need? Now get to work unleashing your creative genius to save the coast! Submit your ideas here. We can’t wait to see the results.

Questions? Email jhebert@audubon.org

About Dirty Coast: Dirty Coast began in 2004 as a response to what was passing for local apparel on Bourbon street; a way to make cool designs for die hard New Orleanians. Small batches of shirts and posters. A fun side project. In 2005, a Category 3 storm made its way through the area without causing too much damage. Then the federal infrastructure meant to protect the city failed and filled New Orleans with water. Soon after, Blake found himself in Lafayette with all his plans placed on hold. While in exile, meditating on this fate of his beloved city, Blake designed a bumper sticker that read, “Be a New Orleanian, Wherever You Are.” He printed 5,000, and placed them all over New Orleans as soon as he could return. The reaction to Blake's design was overwhelming, and developing the Dirty Coast brand became a no-brainer. Why T-shirts? Because they are the great equalizer. You can have a good design. You can have fun, cheeky copy. But to create a shirt that exists on a level beyond your standard laundry, that engages your friends and neighbors in conversation, that starts debates, that elicits laughter, nostalgia, and many “Yea Ya Right!” That’s what we’re trying to do. To be bold and to be real about our dirty, marvelous city. Everything we do, everything we make is a proclamation of our love for New Orleans. And when you truly love something, you want to share it with as many people as possible. So whether you’re born here, a transplant, or simply passing through, you can be a New Orleanian wherever you are.

About Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition: The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Composed of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. Learn more at www.mississippiriverdelta.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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IPCC report examines climate change’s effects on Mississippi River Delta and strategies for adaptation

August 5, 2014 | Posted by Delta Dispatches in Community Resiliency, Economics, Hurricanes, Job Creation, Reports

By Keenan Orfalea, Communications Intern, Environmental Defense Fund

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.” – President John F. Kennedy

The Mississippi River Delta – one of the largest and most productive wetland ecosystems in North America – is teeming with life, and this rich bounty has supported the development of unique cultures and traditions, alongside industry. At the same time, Louisiana’s fragile coastal wetland ecosystems are facing collapse. Today, the region also faces serious threats from global climate change, combined with other manmade impacts. Climate impacts could devastate Gulf fisheries, submerge critical infrastructure like Port Fourchon and imperil cities such as New Orleans. These outcomes are not inevitable, though, if meaningful action is taken.

Coastal wetlands are the first line of defense against climate change impacts such as storm surge. Unfortunately, the Mississippi River Delta has been losing wetlands at an alarming rate as a result of unsustainable river and coastal management practices. Since 1932, Louisiana has lost nearly 1,900 square miles of land, and every hour, an area of land the size of a football field turns into open water.

While this gradual process may go unnoticed from day to day, the consequences became clear through the devastation of natural disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Intact coastal wetlands could have protected against the force of these storms, because they have the potential to buffer storm surge. For communities that lie behind natural wetland barriers, restoring such ecosystems will increase communities’ resiliency and ability to thrive in the face of climate change.

Slide1

A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) focused on the observed and predicted effects of climate change as well as adaptation strategies. The report found strong evidence of variation in key environmental indicators over the past two decades and predicts that this variation is likely to continue into the future, generating increasingly severe effects over time. The report also explores what can be done to confront these new challenges and protect against the most extreme impacts.

For vulnerable, low lying areas like southern Louisiana, any effective adaptation plan will have to utilize multiple strategies simultaneously. Coastal wetland restoration will be one of the most important and cost effective tools for adapting to climate change.

There are costs associated with any restoration program, but strategic investment could produce economic gains for the entire Mississippi River Delta region. According to an analysis by The Center for American Progress and Oxfam America, long-term investment in ecosystem services returned $15 in value for every $1 spent. The same study found that an average of 17 jobs were created per $1 million in spending on ecosystem services, compared to only 9 jobs created from the same investment in the offshore oil and gas industry.

Adaptive coastal planning delivers further benefits by mitigating potential losses from storm damage and sea level rise. Taken together, the gains in human safety and economic stimulus stemming from adaptive planning far exceed the costs of any coastal restoration program. Embarking on this course of action will not only ensure the long-term sustainability of the Mississippi River Delta and its communities, but it could also lay the foundations for future economic development.

Climate change is a global problem, but the earliest and most severe developments will be felt in areas that are most exposed, like the low-lying and disappearing Mississippi River Delta. While mitigating the future impacts of climate change will require an international effort, adaptation must take place on the regional and local levels. Louisiana’s most pressing threats stem from its vanishing coastline. In order to meet the challenges of the future, policymakers and citizens must take immediate action in order to reverse this land loss crisis, because comfortable inaction is not an option.

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