Archive for People
From the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana:
Restoring and protecting the natural treasure of Louisiana’s coast is a duty embraced by many people with diverse backgrounds. Some may be volunteers, students, researchers, sportsmen, governmental or business leaders, or simply coastal citizens who care enough about the future of our state to take action.
Every year the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) is proud to honor and individuals and organizations who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to the coast with a CRCL Coastal Stewardship Award. These awards are CRCL’s highest form of recognition for those who go above and beyond for our coast, and we need your help to discover worthy candidates for the honors.
This year’s 18th annual Coastal Stewardship Awards Program will be held on Friday, May 10, 2013 at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center.
Nominations are being accepted for the following categories:
Lifetime Achievement Award: awarded in recognition of an individual who has demonstrated many years of service to the Louisiana coast over a career or lifetime.
Distinguished Achievement Award: awarded to those who have shown extraordinary commitment to the coast, usually over a consistent period of several years.
Coastal Stewardship Award: awarded in recognition of service and outstanding effort in coastal restoration either in the past year or several years.
For a list of previous winners of Coastal Stewardship Awards, click here.
To nominate a person or organization for a Coastal Stewardship Award, download our nomination form here. For more information, contact CRCL at 1-888-LACOAST (1-888-522-6278) or e-mail our communications director, Scott Madere at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All nominations must be received by March 4, 2012.No Comments
This release was originally posted by Vanishing Paradise.
By Chris Macaluso, Louisiana Wildlife Federation
Duck Commander, a world-leader in the manufacture of duck calls and waterfowl hunting equipment and the company featured in the A&E television program “Duck Dynasty,” recently added its name to a list of more than 800 businesses and organizations to sign a letter urging Congress to support the restoration of the Mississippi River Delta’s imperiled wetlands.
The letter is part of the Vanishing Paradise campaign’s efforts to encourage outdoorsmen and women and the organizations and businesses that support them to advocate for coastal restoration in Louisiana, where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico. The Vanishing Paradise Campaign effort is headed by the National Wildlife Federation, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and Ducks Unlimited.
Duck Commander joins other world-renowned hunting and fishing equipment manufacturers and conservation organizations like B.A.S.S. Inc, Mercury Outboards, Shimano American Corp, Pure Fishing, Quantum, Plano Molding, Orvis, Frabill and the Coastal Conservation Association. Located in West Monroe, La., Duck Commander and its sister company Buck Commander join more than 150 other Louisiana companies and organizations to sign the letter.
“Duck Commander has long been a supporter of efforts to protect and restore our hunting and fishing habitats,” said Duck Commander Senior Manager Al Robertson. “Everyone working here at Duck Commander got into this business because we love to duck hunt. Without healthy wetlands, we lose opportunities to do what we love and we lose a chance to pass our love for the outdoors to the next generation. We are proud to support the Vanishing Paradise campaign.”
The marshes and swamps of the Mississippi River Delta offer world-class hunting and fishing opportunities. They are the wintering grounds for as many as 10 million ducks and geese migrating through the middle of North America and are the nursery for fish that populate the entire Gulf of Mexico.
Unfortunately, this unique and vital habitat is vanishing faster than any other landmass in the world. Levees along the Mississippi River have starved the area’s wetlands of vital sediment and freshwater while manmade canals have carved up wetlands and allowed saltwater to penetrate deep into freshwater and brackish swamps.
Nearly 2,000 square miles of coastal habitat has been lost along Louisiana’s coast in the last 80 years, an area equal to the size of the state of Delaware. Nearly 20 square miles sink or wash away every year. That land loss threatens hunting and fishing opportunities, entire communities and a unique culture and way of life.
“Losing wetlands in the Mississippi River Delta means the loss of healthy waterfowl populations in this country,” said National Wildlife Federation Senior Manager for Sportsman Leadership Land Tawney. “The Vanishing Paradise Campaign has played a vital role in securing some much needed funding for the restoration of the delta but there is an enormous amount of work to be done if we hope to fully address this dire land loss. The support of Duck Commander and other companies makes our work possible.”
Chris Macaluso, Louisiana Wildlife Federation,
(225) 344-6707 or (225) 802-4048
(November 30, 2012 – BATON ROUGE, LA) The Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) is accepting nominations for the 49th Governor's State Conservation Achievement Awards. The program recognizes those persons and organizations making outstanding contributions to the natural resource welfare and environmental quality of the community, parish and state. There are eight award categories for which nominations can be made. They are: professional; volunteer; business; educator; youth; elected official; communications and organization.
Nominations will be accepted until January 21, 2013. The awards will be presented on February 23, 2013 at a special banquet held in conjunction with the 74th annual convention of the Louisiana Wildlife Federation at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Baton Rouge, La.
"The Federation’s Conservation Awards program has been endorsed by Louisiana’s sitting Governors since 1964 during the McKeithen administration and continues to be widely acclaimed as the most prestigious recognition of conservation accomplishment in our state," said Barney Callahan, chairman of LWF’s Conservation Awards Program. Callahan added, "The awards themselves, handsome statuettes of majestic wild animals, are unique to the program and highly coveted by all who receive them. We invite the public to help us recognize those individuals, organizations and businesses who demonstrate significant achievement in their efforts to conserve fish and wildlife resources, to enhance opportunities for all of our citizens to enjoy the outdoors, to improve the quality of the environment, and to educate and advocate on behalf of our natural resources in Louisiana."
More details about the program are posted on the LWF website at www.lawildlifefed.org. Interested people can also call the LWF office, 225-344-6707, or email email@example.com for more information.
The Louisiana Wildlife Federation is a statewide conservation education and advocacy organization with more than 10,000 members and 27 affiliate groups. Established in 1940, it is affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation and represents a broad constituency of conservationists including hunters, anglers, campers, birders, boaters and other outdoor enthusiasts.
Contact: Rebecca Triche, 225-362-9007 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org
Nomination form can be downloaded here: http://www.mississippiriverdelta.org/files/2012/12/LWF-49th-Governors-Conservation-112912.pdfNo Comments
By Happy Johnson, Amanda Moore and Elizabeth Skree
Our Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign works to reconnect the Mississippi River to its delta to protect people, wildlife and jobs. At our core, we are the “Power of We”: a coalition of five national and local non-governmental organizations — the National Audubon Society, Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation – working together to save a national treasure: the Mississippi River Delta.
The Mississippi River Delta is losing an area of land the size of one football field every hour. Yes, you read that right. Turning the tide on wetland loss, which totals over 1,900 square miles since the 1930s, is no small feat. To take on this task, we turn to the Power of We.
Whether it’s by supporting our nation’s fisheries, vital wildlife habitat, trade routes or energy production, the Mississippi River Delta is important to the entire country. Here in the delta and across the nation, citizens are learning more and more about the crisis in the delta and taking action to help restore the area. Locally, our campaign works to engage area residents throughout their neighborhoods. Together, we rally. Together, we hold press conferences. We release reports. We host public forums that empower citizens to speak directly to their legislators, state officials and federal agencies about moving restoration forward. We harness the Power of We to make change.
Community Conversations on Coastal Restoration
This year we organized a series of community conversations to enhance and increase coastal competency in Louisiana urban areas. Those gatherings provided an informal outlet to openly discuss the comprehensive challenges and opportunities as a result of staggering wetland loss. In particular, people were interested in how they can become advocates and participate in the emerging job market created by coastal restoration investment.
MRGO must go
The Power of We shines in one major delta project: restoring tens of thousands of acres of protective wetlands just southeast of New Orleans destroyed by a federal shipping channel, the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (also known as the “MRGO” or “Mister Go”). Since Hurricane Katrina, we’ve worked hand-in-hand with local landowners, local government, academia, local neighborhood associations and national environmental organizations to advocate for closure of the shipping channel (which happened in 2009) and for a strong restoration plan for the area. We worked closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in planning, and in the last few years alone, we’ve generated over 75,000 comments to the agency calling for urgent and careful ecosystem restoration along the MRGO. These comments poured in from across the nation, and we now have a $2.9 billion recommended plan for restoration by the Army Corps’ Chief of Engineers.
BP oil disaster
We harnessed the Power of We to pass landmark legislation after the BP oil disaster. The Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign has been working since the spill to ensure that the Clean Water Act fines BP and other responsible parties will pay as a result of the spill are returned to the Gulf Coast to be used for restoration. For this to happen, Congress needed to pass legislation ensuring the money was sent to the gulf states — that bill was the RESTORE Act. A little over two years after the spill had started, Congress passed the RESTORE Act and the President signed it into law. This historic bipartisan legislation came to be in part because of the many letters sent to Congress by people all across the country. Our campaign helped generate over 160,000 letters to Congress asking them to make the RESTORE Act a priority.
Holding BP accountable
But even though the RESTORE Act is now law, our work is not done. It’s been over two years since the gulf oil disaster started, and BP has still not paid a penny in Clean Water Act fines. BP has been stalling the process and is actively trying to walk away from its obligations to clean up the gulf. We can't let that happen. The Power of We can help make things right for the environment and communities of the gulf. Please sign our petition to BP and tell them to stop stalling, stop litigating and make the gulf whole. It’s the right thing to do.
What else can you do?
Like the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign on Facebook! By liking our page, you can be the first to receive updates and action opportunities for the delta.
Follow us on Twitter! @RestoreDelta is Twitter's best resource for Mississippi River Delta news, action items and project updates.
Subscribe to Delta Dispatches! Delta Dispatches is the Web's foremost blog on the policies and science behind Mississippi River Delta restoration.No Comments
By Happy Johnson, National Wildlife Federation
Louisiana is facing a coastal crisis. We lose one football field of wetlands every hour. 1,900 square miles of land has been lost already since the 1930s, and another 1,800 square miles are expected to be lost within the next 50 years unless we implement significant coastal restoration projects. Coastal land loss has strong, direct impacts on all communities, especially Black and Vietnamese fishing populations in the Mississippi River Delta. Without urgent restoration of Louisiana’s dying wetlands, we stand to lose these vital groups, cultures and economies.
Many fishermen who saw their families, homes and boats dismantled by Hurricane Katrina experienced compounded economic damage during the BP oil disaster. As a result, communities of color making a living in the fishing industry are dramatically shrinking.
The before-mentioned disasters also present a remarkable opportunity to implement policy and project solutions that mitigate land loss, reduce carbon emissions and tackle relative sea level rise. Examples of those solutions include Louisiana’s 2012 Coastal Master Plan and the RESTORE Act, both of which harness science and community capacity to engineer a more resilient Gulf Coast.
On the third Tuesdays of June, July and August, the New Orleans branch of the National Wildlife Federation hosted a three-part series of informal residential gatherings titled “Community Conversations on Coastal Restoration” at the New Orleans Healing Center.
Representatives from neighborhood associations, community development organizations, curious residents, students and vocal coastal leaders attended these events to discuss the BP oil spill impacts, the RESTORE Act, the Coastal Master Plan and the Louisiana First Hiring Act. The overarching mission of this series was to help enhance coastal competency in urban communities.
State and federal investments in southeast Louisiana provide opportunities to build community strength against future catastrophes. How do we diversity grassroots and local residential interest and then turn that interest into advocacy? I think it begins with building trust, expanding opportunities and having in-depth conversations.
The emerging coastal restoration economy provides significant avenues for job growth, educational training and workforce development. Now is the time for New Orleans as a whole to prepare for the future.No Comments
By Maura Wood (National Wildlife Federation) and Brian Jackson (Environmental Defense Fund)
For decades, the people of southern Louisiana have gradually struggled with the collapse of the Mississippi River Delta. Land that once provided shelter from hurricanes, space for agriculture, a basis for livelihoods and a source for recreation has — sometimes in one generation — disappeared. This slow-motion crisis has forced communities and economies along Louisiana’s coast to adapt to collapse.
Large-scale restoration of the delta provides new hope that the system can again become sustainable. But turning coastal Louisiana around from a system losing land to one rebuilding it will require transition and adaptation for coastal residents and communities. Change is inevitable, but the direction of that change will shift dramatically from the loss that communities have been adapting to for generations to a more dynamic and sustainable system that is gaining land.
Louisiana’s 2012 Coastal Master Plan sets out bold action for restoration and importantly highlights the need for “providing for transitions,” i.e. addressing potential changes that stakeholders may face as projects are implemented and acknowledging the grief and adjustment imposed by existing land loss.
The master plan uses many methods of restoration, asserting that “The action we need requires changing the landscape, not just tweaking what we already have.” Projects such as marsh creation, sediment diversions, ridge restoration, oyster barrier reefs and hydrologic restoration have been chosen for their ability to build land and sustain the coast over the long term. At the same time, they may also be accompanied by short or long-term changes in water elevation and salinity regimes as diversions are operated; changes in access as land is built and hydrology is restored; shifts in habitats in response to land building; and other social, cultural, and economic changes as a result of physical changes to the landscape. The plan stresses that “If we don’t take large-scale action, land loss and flooding will grow so severe that ours will be the last generation that benefits from Louisiana’s working coast.”
The master plan commits to helping communities and user groups adapt to these changes three ways: by developing a planning framework for adapting to change; by involving stakeholders in project design to minimize impacts; and by identifying tools that may assist communities, businesses, and individuals in transitioning to a sustainable — but likely different — new coastal regime.
The challenge is to flesh out these commitments into a creative discussion that moves beyond despair and dislocation. Ideally, transition from the collapsing coast of today to a dynamic but sustainable coast of the future will continue and renew the connection between land, livelihoods, communities and culture. Perhaps through the “planning framework,” stakeholders themselves will be able to propose how transition can result in building a better future for individuals, communities and businesses.
Because the environmental challenges we face are unprecedented, bold actions must be taken. The ultimate benefits and impacts of such actions lie in the future and cannot be completely known. But we know that without action, our coast will continue collapsing. Increasing our ability to work together — marked by increased collaboration, communication, networking and interaction, as well as the establishment of common goals and mutual trust — increases our ability to make decisions, correct mistakes and create a coastal future together. Therefore, the Coastal Master Plan’s commitment to engaging stakeholders and addressing transition is a linchpin for successful forward progress toward a sustainable coast for everyone.No Comments
By Scott Madere, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana
If it’s one thing we can count on at the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL), it’s the hard work and enthusiasm of our volunteers. Since our Community Based Restoration Program was created in 2000, more than 8,000 volunteers have joined us on the front lines of our coast, directly restoring 3,600 acres of wetlands.
Next week marks a new chapter in CRCL volunteer history as we take on quite possibly our biggest project ever. On May 14, 17, 18 and 19, CRCL volunteers will plant nearly 40,000 plants along newly constructed marsh terraces to help prevent further erosion and to stabilize the soil in these newly-created marsh features.
So what is a marsh terrace? Simply put, marsh terraces are earthen barriers created to reduce the impact of wind and waves on marsh that is under threat of severe erosion. They are often arranged in patterns where the terraces overlap each other to diffuse wave action on the shoreline.
For the past year, CRCL, the Rainey Alliance and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana have been constructing terraces to protect the fragile wetlands of Christian Marsh. All totaled, CRCL and its partners have placed 25,000 linear feet of terraces. That’s 83 football fields of coastal barrier for Christian Marsh! But just like any earth feature, these terraces are themselves vulnerable to wave action and wind erosion.
That’s where you come in.
The planting activities we have scheduled for the week of May 14 are designed to bolster these terraces and hold them in place. We need as many volunteers as we can to set plants into the terraces and strengthen their protective ability.
As an added bonus, the terraces and the plants that grow on them will help form additional habitat for an area that is lush with wildlife, particularly migratory waterfowl. If you have never been to Christian Marsh, it is a virtual paradise for ducks, herons, ibises, roseate spoonbill and brown pelicans. Your volunteer day takes place in one of the most beautiful areas of Louisiana marsh. It’s a beautiful place worth saving.
Additional support for this project comes from Cargill Dicing Technology, Coypu, NOAA and Restore America’s Estuaries.
The Rainey Alliance is a restoration partnership comprised of McIlhenny Company, the National Audubon Society, Sagrera Estates and Vermilion Corporation.No Comments
This post was originally published on the National Wildlife Federation's Wildlife Promise blog.
By Amanda Moore, National Wildlife Federation’s Coastal Louisiana Organizer in New Orleans
What would you do if, in one day, you lost everything? I’m not just talking about your personal possessions; I’m talking about your entire community — your church, your grocery store, your school. The folks you meet in the video below, Warrenetta Banks and John Taylor, have lived out this scenario every day since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005 and have chosen to respond with passion and dedication to recovery — advocating for smart, green urban planning on one side of the levee and a healthy wetland ecosystem on the other side of the levee.
Warrenetta and John are both lifelong residents of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. In the years since the catastrophic flooding, they’ve helped their community recover to be one of the “greenest” in the nation — solar panels, community gardens, and LEED certified homes are typical encounters as you walk down the street. That’s on one side of the levee.
Residents like Warrenetta and John understand all too well that the wetland ecosystem on the other side of the levee is critical to their future and safety. Healthy wetlands serve as a buffer to storm surges and winds and help the levees do their job to protect communities. National Wildlife Federation is one organization working closely with the Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (where Warrenetta and John work) to plan and gain funding for restoration of the 400-acre cypress swamp bordering the community (featured in the video) as well as the entire 58,000 acres wetland ecosystem the swamp is connected to, which once buffered much of the Greater New Orleans area from storms and provided important wildlife habitat.
Without healthy wetlands, coastal communities like the Lower Ninth Ward remain very vulnerable to disasters. Urgent funding is needed for restoration. The RESTORE Act, legislation now making its way through the U.S. Congress, will use a portion of Clean Water Act penalties from the BP disaster to fund projects that will restore Gulf Coast ecosystems, including wetlands that protect communities and provide critical habitat for gulf wildlife. Right now, you can make a difference in the future of the Gulf Coast. Learn more about the RESTORE Act and share your voice!No Comments
Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) is a non-profit advocacy organization established in 1988 to unite business interests, scientists, landowners, national and local conservation groups, local governments, hunters, anglers and a broad spectrum of concerned citizens in a shared mission of restoring and protecting a sustainable coastal Louisiana.
CRCL seeks to hire a Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator to coordinate three distinct stakeholder engagement initiatives designed to build support for comprehensive restoration of the Mississippi River Delta region. The Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator will work closely with staff at the Environmental Defense Fund and National Wildlife Federation to establish relationships with key stakeholders, share scientific and technical information with targeted stakeholders and integrate stakeholder needs and concerns into the planning and implementation of coastal restoration projects.
- Prepare and plan CRCL stakeholder meetings
- Coordinate three pilot stakeholder engagement initiatives between collaborating organizations with the ability to identify and leverage synergies
- Develop stakeholder relationships, trust and issue knowledge in targeted areas
- Integrate stakeholder engagement project results into state and federal restoration project development
- Create and track project metrics for progress reporting
- Compile lessons learned from pilot initiatives to create successful models for future engagement
- Undergraduate degree or equivalent experience is required. A background in social sciences or communication is preferred
- In depth knowledge of stakeholders and constituencies in coastal Louisiana is required. Technical knowledge of coastal dynamics is preferred
- Proven ability to manage, organize and coordinate efforts internally and across multiple organizations
- Exceptional interpersonal skills, including conflict resolution and consensus building.
- Ability to work collaboratively as well as independently
- Effective and clear communication skills with the specific ability to explain complex information in simple terms
Salary: $40,000.00 to $50,000.00 depending on experience. Health and retirement benefits provided.
Term: 2 years
How to Apply: Interested candidates should submit a cover letter detailing your interest in the position, plus a resume, brief writing sample and two references. Materials should be sent by email or post to Amy Tyrrell at email@example.com or 6160 Perkins Rd., Suite 225, Baton Rouge, La. 70808 no later than May 6, 2012.No Comments
Next in our Voices of the Delta series, you will meet Captain Troy Frady: Alabama native, owner of Distraction Charters in Orange Beach, Ala. and Gulf Coast restoration advocate.
Occupation: Owner/Operator at Distraction Charters in Orange Beach, Alabama
What does the Gulf Coast mean to you?
My earliest memories of coastal Alabama date back to the early 1970s. There were not many people on the water back then around Orange Beach, Fort Morgan and Dauphin Island. The fish were abundant and our estuaries were teeming with life. Over the past 40 years, I have seen things change from what I remember as a child. I have seen our coastal wetlands drained or filled, environmental pollution, overfishing of our marine resources, and residential and commercial development. All have contributed to the decline of what was once a pristine coastal environment.
After 21 years of working in the corporate world of banking and logistics, I decided to fulfill a childhood dream of making my living on the water. I took off my tie and hung up my coat and purchased a 41’ Hatteras and began charter fishing in 2002.
After entering the charter fishing fleet, I noticed that there were a lot of anglers who were overharvesting reef fish simply because they could. I wanted to be different and develop my niche. I began educating my customers about conservation and why it is important to release some of your catch. I had already seen what overfishing had done to the resources since childhood, so I decided to be part of the solution instead of being part of the problem. I began marketing “Keep the Best, Release the Rest,” to help manage fish populations.
The effects of the BP oil spill have complicated our fishery rebuilding process. It may be years before we know the full effects of what the oil and dispersants did to our reef fishery and the deep water marine ecosystem.
Why is it important to move quickly to restore all coastal wetlands and estuaries?
Over the years, our pristine coastal areas have been depleted and are in jeopardy of being gone for good. With natural events like hurricanes and manmade events like the BP oil spill, it is extremely important that we all do our part and build buffers around and restore our marine resources. The lessons I have learned in 40 years are valuable, and I don’t want to see future generations witness what we had a chance to correct.
How does the RESTORE Act fit into this process?
For the first time in our nation’s history, we have an opportunity to divert Clean Water Act fines, without using taxpayer dollars, toward projects that will protect our estuaries and marine resources from natural or manmade disasters. The RESTORE Act gives hope to all of us who make our living by educating and being good stewards of such a great national resource. It may be years before we know the full effects of what the BP oil spill did to our marine environment. Only through a robust research and monitoring program will we be able to detect delayed or subtle impacts, track the recovery of the injured species and implement appropriate restoration strategies.
One thing’s for sure — the seafood industry and recreational fishing are pillars of our coastal economy. Neither can prosper without the natural resources that support them. In the gulf, environmental restoration is vital to economic restoration. What we do today will have an effect on what happens tomorrow. Your children and grandchildren will love you more because of it. Restoration is the right thing to do.No Comments