Job Opening: Communications Associate, Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition

November 16, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in Job openings

Position: Communications Associate, Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, National Audubon Society

Location: New Orleans, LA


Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 22 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 46 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

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.

Position Summary:

The Communications Associate will play a key role in building awareness and support both in Louisiana and nationwide for restoration of the Mississippi River Delta on behalf of National Audubon Society, Environmental Defense Fund, and National Wildlife Federation, as well as in collaboration with regional partners Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. S/He will support a variety of communications projects through regular reporting on team deliverables, monitoring coverage in the media and other channels, as well as facilitating effective team workflow and operations.The Communications Associate will help develop a wide range of campaign materials across web and print, as well as manage and maintain the Coalition-branded website and social media properties.

While the Communications Associate will be on staff of the National Audubon Society, subject to all its human resource policies and benefits, s/he will have a primary reporting role to the joint campaign’s Communications Committee and help support all of its member organizations.

 Essential Functions:

  • Contribute to the development and implementation of communications work plans supporting Mississippi River Delta restoration goals.
  • Serve as the team coordinator for the Communications Committee of the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition
  • Manage Communications Committee functions, including project tracking, weekly meeting agendas and follow-up and team reporting.
  • Create a wide range of communications materials for distribution across a variety of platforms and for diverse audiences, with the goal of building support for Coalition priorities; leveraging graphic design expertise where necessary.
  • Manage content on campaign website, blog and social media properties; working with campaign staff to design, create, edit, and regularly update multimedia pages on the site; analyze website statistics.
  • Develop strategies for reaching new audiences on Coalition social media properties, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, as well as identify potential emerging platforms and innovative techniques for reaching target audiences.
  • Distribute strategic communications to key media contacts as well as Coalition email subscribers.
  • Monitor media coverage and social media for relevant stories and features relating to the campaign, compile and distribute daily news highlights, as well as execute comprehensive coverage reports.
  • Assist senior communications staff with coordination, execution and documentation of media events.
  • Help track and report team budget and expenditures.
  • Support senior communications staff as needed in achieving strategic team and coalition goals.

Qualifications & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in communications, journalism, marketing or other related field.
  • 2-4 years’ experience in public relations, journalism or other communications or marketing-related field, with a demonstrated record of success.
  • Experience in project management and coordination required.
  • Demonstrated time-management skills, attention to detail and ability to juggle multiple projects and consistently meet deadlines.
  • Experience in developing engaging print and online communications materials for a wide range of audiences.  Must possess a strength for multiplatform storytelling and demonstrated success leveraging a wide variety of social media platforms and innovative tactics to engage and reach supporters.
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills. Must write quickly and well under pressure.
  • Ability to communicate complex and technical information clearly to many audiences.
  • Proactive, self-starter able to get things accomplished with minimal direct supervision.
  • Strong proficiency in a wide range of digital platforms and programs, including Microsoft Office, Adobe InDesign and Photoshop, WordPress, Google Analytics, CisionPoint/Vocus, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Engaging Networks, Convio or similar email management system.
  • Nice to have: Photography, sound and video recording and editing capabilities; experience in the nonprofit sector on issues related to conservation; knowledge of Louisiana and its people/geography/history/environment.
  • Must be willing to travel, as well as commit to some evening and weekend work as needed.
  • Valid driver’s license required.


Apply here. 

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Job Opening: Mississippi River Delta and Natural Infrastructure Economist, EDF

November 13, 2015 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in Job openings

EDF_tm_CMYK-logo-for-webPosition: Mississippi River Delta & Natural Infrastructure Economist (2-year Post-doctoral Position)
Location: Washington, DC (New York, NY or Boston, MA)

With world attention focused on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. This leading green group, with programs from Boston to Beijing, has tripled in size over the past decade by focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches. You can be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and a focus on results are a way of life.

Overall Function

The need for climate adaptation in coastal environments in the US (and around the world) and the development of resilient and protective systems in those same areas are increasing and in some cases already keenly felt. Much of this adaptation will require infrastructure, ranging from traditional flood barriers to natural infrastructure (dunes, floodways, wetlands, receiving basins, barrier islands, multiple use retention areas, etc.). This work is typically capital intensive and often expensive, and responsibility for design, construction, operations, maintenance and financing often split among various public authorities. Within the US, a fundamental need for efficient and available financing systems for this critical infrastructure work exists, as current US financing systems (federal and state appropriations, state funding and matches, long standing taxes and user-fee based systems) are not providing necessary resources or efficiency in delivering those resources. (This need is global, though our focus for this work is currently domestic.)

The Economist we are seeking would examine existing infrastructure finance systems, and work to develop new concepts, ideas and approaches for financing of coastal adaptation and resilience needs. We anticipate a primary focus on financing of natural infrastructure (i.e., natural defenses and ecological engineering) that lessen the potential impacts of sea level rise and storm damage on coastal communities. The approaches would include, but would not be limited to public finance (taxes, fees, community bonds, etc.), private (market and philanthropic), and ecosystems services. This analysis and these approaches are intended to help shape the organization’s policy positions and support its advocacy, and to help broaden the thinking and policy applications for financing these kinds of projects nationally. The Economist’s analysis will ideally include thought leading original publishable research with the potential to drive the development of this field, “in-house” analyses for use by other staff within the organization, as well as white papers aimed at policy makers, journalists, and the public at large.

The initial primary focus of the work within EDF will be on financing options around ongoing restoration and protection needs within the Mississippi River Delta (filling a significant gap in our work in the Delta) and then assessing ideas for broader applicability or utility to other coastal locations in the United States. The Mississippi River Delta is the site of the largest adaptation effort underway in the country today. More broadly within EDF, we would expect this area of work to be applicable to other Ecosystems Program activities, and could potentially support an ongoing collaboration between the Oceans and Ecosystems programs and the Office of the Chief Economist on coastal resiliency in the Northeastern United States.

The Economist can be based in Washington, DC; New York City, NY; Boston, MA; with a preference for Washington, DC. S/he will work closely with and under the guidance of EDF’s Chief Economist Frank Convery and work with other economists, natural scientists, and policy specialists throughout EDF. S/he will officially report to the Deputy Director, Water Programs. S/he may also have managerial responsibilities for more junior staff.

Key Responsibilities

  • Working with the Chief Economist, other Economic and Mississippi River Delta Restoration staff and collaborators to identify long-term research relevant to increasing financing options to inform and support the organization’s advocacy, and the national discussion;
  • Conducting original economic research to assess existing financing sources and systems, develop new ideas and evaluate these financing options, including their potential for improvement, revenue growth, and sustainability;
  • Research policy changes to implement new approach(es);
  • Working with staff on analyses of issues related to environmental policy;
  • Overseeing research projects conducted by other organizations for EDF (e.g., universities and outside contractors);
  • Summarizing research for a broad audience, as well as public communications including Congressional testimony, Op-Eds, articles, and blog posts;
  • Working with EDF’s development team, including communicating with donors and foundations and writing;
  • Contributing to proposals for securing funding;
  • Participating in the development of public positions taken by EDF;
  • Representing EDF at public meetings including policy makers, academic conferences and workshops, gatherings of advocacy organizations, and the general public.
  • Develop one or more papers suitable for publishing in peer-reviewed journals that focus on existing and new options for sustainable financing of coastal adaptation and resilience.


  • Ph.D. in Economics, Public Finance, or related discipline (e.g., Environmental, Agricultural and Resource Economics) with a background in public policy..
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Proven ability to conduct cutting-edge research;
  • Ability to convey economic concepts to non-economists;
  • Ability to deploy a diversity of analytical approaches, theoretical and/or econometric studies to back-of-the-envelope analyses;
  • Self-direction and independence of mind;
  • Interest in relating economic research to real-world policy and in bridging the worlds of advocacy and academia;
  • Familiarity with the empirical and theoretical literature on environmental economics, in particular the design of regulatory policy (e.g., instrument choice).

Preferred Qualifications

  • Two or more years of experience in policy and/or research;
  • Managerial skills

Due to the volume of employment applications and queries received, EDF is unable to respond to each application individually. Applicants will be contacted directly if selected as a candidate.

Apply here.

Environmental Defense Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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Join the Nov. 10 #RestoreTheCoast Online Day of Action!

November 6, 2015 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in coastal restoration, Meetings/Events, Restore the Coast

MRDRC-300x600In advance of the general election, on November 10, the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is hosting a #RestoreTheCoast Online Day of Action to highlight the important role Louisiana’s elected officials play in coastal restoration! Through this nonpartisan, voter education campaign, we are asking Louisianians to sign a pledge committing to vote in the upcoming election and urging state leaders to: be a voice for coastal restoration, protect existing and secure future coastal restoration funding, and support Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan.

Our hope is to send a clear message to our public officials: Louisianians want leaders who will prioritize coastal restoration, by keeping restoration dollars for restoration and continuing the forward progress made through the coastal master planning process. Together, we can protect our communities and coast for generations to come.

Join the #RestoreTheCoast Online Day of Action on November 10! Help us reach our goal of 10,000 pledges and elevate this important issue in advance of the Nov. 21 general election! Learn more and take the pledge at

Restore the Coast Online Day of Action Goals:

  1. Garner 10,000 total pledges
  2. Flood social media with #RestoreTheCoast and #TakeThePledge messaging

Ways You Can Get Involved:

  1. Email: Send an email to at least five friends, urging them to take the pledge at!
  2. Twitter: Send tweets throughout the day urging your followers to take the pledge at and to share the pledge with their friends! Be sure to use the #RestoreTheCoast hashtag.
  3. Facebook: Update your Facebook status and include a link to the pledge! Download sample Restore The Coast images via our Digital Starter Kit.
  4. Instagram: Instagram your favorite photo of the coast and ask your followers to take the pledge at! Remember to use the #RestoreTheCoast hashtag.

Restore The Coast Digital Starter Kit:

Check out the Restore the Coast digital starter kit for sample web banners, social media share images and tweets.

General Guidelines for #RestoreTheCoast Online Day of Action:

  1. This effort will start at 9am Tuesday Nov. 10 and continue through the course of the day – feel free to keep the momentum going past Tuesday!
  2. If sending an email to your friends and family, please send it first thing in the morning. Get the buzz started early!
  3. The Online Day of Action will start with a simple tweet and/or Facebook post from your account about what today’s activity is about: a statewide day of action urging Louisianians to take the pledge to help #RestoreTheCoast!
  4. Then proceed to send out tweets and Facebook posts about the pledge and highlighting the important role Louisiana leaders play in coastal restoration (see Sample Tweets below).
  5. Follow the Online Day of Action’s progress throughout the day by tracking the #RestoreTheCoast hashtag, where you’ll see tweets from our and other organizations and individuals participating in the event. We have already begun using this hashtag with great success!
  6. Respond to and retweet your followers’ tweets in support of taking the pledge to restore the coast!

Hashtags and Mentions

  1. Use the #RestoreTheCoast and #TakeThePledge hashtags in your tweets.
  2. If you have room, it would be great to include “via @RestoreDelta” in your tweet, to help promote the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition’s Twitter handle.

Sample Tweets: Feel free to create your own tweets but please use the #RestoreTheCoast hashtag when possible.

Sample kickoff messages to begin the Twitter Day of Action

  • Tweeting today to help #RestoreTheCoast – Join us! Take the pledge at! via @RestoreDelta
  • Taking part in a day of action to #RestoreTheCoast! Join us by taking the pledge at! via @RestoreDelta #TakeThePledge

Sample tweets for rest of the day

  • Take the pledge to restore Louisiana's coast today at! #RestoreTheCoast #TakeThePledge
  • Pledge to Restore The Coast! #RestoreTheCoast #TakeThePledge via @RestoreDelta
  • Louisiana’s coast is disappearing: A football field of wetlands vanishes almost every hour. Let’s #RestoreTheCoast
  • Louisiana needs leaders who will be a voice for restoration! Take the pledge: #RestoreTheCoast
  • Pledge to urge leaders to support the Coastal Master Plan! #RestoreTheCoast #TakeThePledge
  • We need leaders who will protect coastal restoration funding! Take the pledge to #RestoreTheCoast at
  • Pledge to urge leaders to be a voice for coastal restoration! #RestoreTheCoast #TakeThePledge
  • Louisiana’s coast is disappearing. We need your help! Take a pledge here: #RestoreTheCoast #TakeThePledge

@RestoreDelta stats you can share or retweet:

Share these stats and images on Facebook or Twitter using #RestoreTheCoast and linking to the pledge:


Share these great videos on Facebook or Twitter using #RestoreTheCoast and linking to the pledge:

  1. Restore the Coast TV ad
  2. What Would You Miss? sticker video
  3. What Would You Miss? whiteboard video

Together, we can #RestoreTheCoast!

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Coast 2050's Lasting Impacts on Coastal Restoration

November 5, 2015 | Posted by Elizabeth Van Cleve in 2012 Coastal Master Plan, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA), Restoration Projects, Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)

By Estelle Robichaux, Restoration Project Analyst, Environmental Defense Fund and Gaby Garcia, Science Intern, Environmental Defense Fund

This post is part of a series on early restoration planning in Louisiana. Be sure to check out our previous posts: part one, part two and part three.

Since the early 1990's, the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Preservation, and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) has been providing a steady funding stream for Louisiana coastal restoration, averaging about $45 million per year. Yet despite this funding commitment, at the time, there was still a void in actionable, systematic restoration planning for coastal Louisiana.

Seeing a need, the Louisiana State Wetlands Authority and the CWPRRA Task Force collaborated to develop Coast 2050, a strategic plan for creating an enduring and sustainable Louisiana coast. Approved in 1998, the plan was a consensus-based, stakeholder-informed initiative that received explicit support from all 20 coastal parishes.

Louisiana coastal parishes

Louisiana's coastal parishes

This comprehensive plan takes a regional perspective on restoration, based on three strategic goals:

  • To create and sustain marsh by accumulating sediment and plant matter;
  • To maintain habitat diversity by varying salinities and protecting key land forms; and
  • To maintain ecosystem connections so there is exchange of energy, plants, and animals.

By focusing on these guiding principles, the participants in this collaborative effort were able to generate a plan that relies on a variety of restoration tools – from shoreline protection and marsh creation to the reintroduction of fresh water and sediment to deteriorating wetlands.

From Coast 2050 to LCA Study

The Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) Ecosystem Restoration Study was an outgrowth of Coast 2050 that took the plan’s restoration concepts and strategies and formulated them into more specific project ideas that could be analyzed and studied.

The overall goal of the LCA study was to reverse the trend of coastal ecosystem degradation, with a specific focus on using restoration strategies that would reintroduce historic flows of river water, nutrients and sediment to the coastal wetlands.

The results of the study, which were finalized and published in 2004, identify 15 projects categorized as ‘critical near-term features.’ This means that the project or action addresses essential ecological needs of coastal Louisiana in areas where delaying action would result in greater future restoration costs and possibly a loss of opportunity for restoration.

Although the approved LCA plan and these 15 critical near-term projects were included in the 2007 Water Resources Development Act, no funds were actually appropriated for this work. Meaning that while the U.S. Congress authorized the Army Corps of Engineers to work on these coastal restoration projects, they did not give them any money to do it.

Coast 2050’s Lasting Impacts

Many of the recommended actions and priorities advanced in Coast 2050 have had a lasting imprint on restoration planning in Louisiana, by setting the stage for project ideas that became a part of the LCA Ecosystem Restoration Study and, eventually, the 2012 Coastal Master Plan.

Coast2050 LCA projects w arrows ER

Coast 2050, Louisiana Coastal Area and 2012 Coastal Master Plan projects (click to enlarge)

Despite the lack of funds and forward momentum in implementing the LCA plan over the past decade, these projects and ideas – that will have a great benefit to the ecosystem and are strongly rooted in science – are finally advancing through the state’s Coastal Master Plan and oil spill-related funding.

Many of these are priority projects for the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, because they are based in sound science, have been planned and studied for a long time and are key to comprehensive and sustainable coastal restoration. While implementation of some of these projects has been slow, we expect that many of them will see greater progress now that the results of the basin-wide modeling effort have been announced, CPRA’s recent recommendation to move forward the Mid Barataria and Mid Breton sediment diversions into engineering and design, and as more funding becomes available through the pending BP settlement.

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Submit Your Coastal Restoration Questions for Louisiana’s Next Governor!

October 29, 2015 | Posted by lbourg in coastal restoration, Community Resiliency, Restore the Coast

What coastal restoration questions do you have forcoastalquetions2 Louisiana’s gubernatorial candidates? Now is your chance to ask them! The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is a sponsor of the upcoming Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) gubernatorial debate on November 10 at 7:00 p.m. Central, and we want to hear from you.

Finding solutions to restore Louisiana’s vanishing coast will be high on the list of challenges the next governor will face – a recent survey found 85 percent of voters believe restoration of coastal Louisiana should be a high priority for the new governor. With that in mind, LPB has agreed to consider coastal restoration-related questions submitted by you to ask the candidates during the debate.

Have a coastal restoration question for the candidates? Submit it here by Monday, November 2, and the moderators just might ask your question.

And be sure to tune in to LPB on November 10 at 7:00 p.m. for the debate to see if your question is asked!

Learn more and take the pledge at!

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