America's WETLAND-where vast estuaries and highly productive regions enrich the Mississippi River Delta, is one of the largest threatened ecosystems on the planet. This valuable landscape extending along Louisiana's coast is disappearing at a rate of over 16 square miles per year, or the equivalent to a football field's worth of land every hour.
The America's WETLAND Foundation (AWF) established in Louisiana, and working throughout the Gulf region, was founded in 2002 in response to a comprehensive coastal study calling on the need to alert the nation to the devastating loss of Louisiana's coastal wetlands and how their loss impacts the rest of the nation.
Former President of the Southern Governor's Association, then Louisiana's Governor Mike Foster, launched the campaign calling on the nation to recognize dire consequences on the horizon with dedicated action to turn back the tide of coastal erosion. Demonstrating the urgency of the problem, NGOs represented by Environmental Defense Fund and industry represented by Shell's president, joined together with the Governor to announce the Campaign to Save America's WETLAND.
As a balanced forum for problem-solving and sharing of best practices for environmental and economic interests, the Foundation's goal has been to transcend historic and parochial differences for the higher good of saving national environmental and economic assets that supports a the U.S. economy and provides for domestic energy security.
In 2007, AWF launched the America's Energy Coast (AEC) initiative. AEC is a diverse group of major businesses and industries, national environmental and conservation organizations, scientists and researchers, coastal, cultural and community interests from across the four energy-producing states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama - collectively known as America's Energy Coast.
AWF serves successfully as a neutral arbiter, bringing diverse interests to the table to seek and establish solutions for ensuring the sustainability of the Gulf coast yielding critical environmental and economic benefits for the nation, particularly the 31 states of the Mississippi watershed.
Today, the Foundation is supported by a growing coalition of world, national, state and local conservation and environmental organizations and has drawn private support from businesses that view Gulf Coast wetlands protection as a key to economic growth.
Since its inception the Foundation and its partners have been able to change public opinion, grow public support for conservation and focus national and world attention on the value of wetlands in all corners of the Earth. Its steadfast message that America's WETLAND is of world ecological significance and key to domestic economic and energy security continue to drive a growing portfolio of Gulf coastal, national and international successes.
To learn more about America's WETLAND land loss, its importance to the nation and solutions visit the Issues and Solutions section of the website.
America's WETLAND is pleased to draw support from private foundations and businesses who have invested in the Gulf Coast. Please visit the Cooperating Organizations page and the Sponsors page and learn how you can become involved in helping to save America's WETLAND and shore up America's Energy Coast.
The first six years of Foundation progress and positive impact on public policy for the Gulf region is detailed in our Progress Report.