COASTAL PLAN IN HAND, LOUISIANA MOVES BEYOND TO ADAPT TO “NEW NORMAL”

Calling on all sectors of Louisiana to adjust to a “new normal” when viewing life and commerce in the state’s coastal zone, a diverse group of leaders, including Governor John Bel Edwards, painted a picture of coastal conditions and progress on restoration following two fall events -The Summit on the Master Plan and Beyond, hosted by the CPRA and America’s WETLAND Foundation (AWF), and the Coastal Wetland Communities Adaptation Leadership Forum hosted by AWF, RES and Nicholls State University. The events explored the anatomy of a new coastal Louisiana and the roles of government, private sector businesses, and citizens to ensure a sustainable future for the region.

Governor John Bel Edwards, the summit’s keynote speaker, said, “Everyone of you are here today because Louisiana is important and what’s happening with our coastal program is critical. Every day the master plan is less theoretical and more real and we need to collaborate now more than ever in our past.” Read more here…

LOUISIANA COASTAL EXCHANGE LAUNCHED
Responding to growing interest in private sector restoration and innovation for coastal sustainability, the America’s WETLAND Foundation has launched the Louisiana Coastal Exchange (LCX). The Exchange is a web-based free inventory and reporting of private sector coastal restoration projects that have been completed or are planned and available for private investment.

First announced on the exchange is a program to revitalize lost wetlands in Terrebonne Parish by terracing and the planting of over 35,000 Bald Cypress Trees, environmental services developed by RES and funded by BHP to enhance the region’s biodiversity.

The program is supported by polling that suggests voters agree that the private sector is engaged and interested in supporting restoration but cannot respond as to how. We believe the LCX will encourage further investment in coastal restoration through partnerships among NGOs, Parish governments and private companies – partnerships that can help get projects on the ground efficiently.

The Federal Government’s release of a national report on the impact of climate change was followed by a report on how the restoration of coastal wetlands, grasslands, and hardwoods provide a natural answer to demands being made of corporate sector investment advisors to demonstrate progress on reducing carbon footprints. The new program provides the advantage of a private sponsors selecting a location for restoration projects and gaining both acknowledgement of ecosystem value benefits and data on carbon sequestration.

The new Exchange emerges in partnership with the Texas Coastal Exchange. AWF is keenly aware of the state’s budget shortfalls and know that the next 10 years are critical in our coastal restoration efforts. The new program will focus on transitional projects critical to the stabilization of eroding coastal lands in anticipation of larger scale public funded projects of the States Coastal Master Plan. It will take far more funding than the current funding sources can supply and certainly more than the state will be able to finance on its own.

The LCX gives us a couple of ways to help – first it provides a unique opportunity to offer projects for private funding – projects that are not part of the state’s master plan but are consistent with it and even complementary to the plan and can hold the line as larger state and parish efforts are accomplished.

Secondly, it creates an inventory of coastal restoration projects that have been completed through private funding over the past decade. This catalogue of completed projects will be important to communities throughout coastal Louisiana and the citizens of our state have clearly said through past polling research that they expect us all to work together to get the job done.

Managing Director Val Marmillion traveled to Houston on November 30, 2018 to offer a presentation on the LCX at a Texas Coastal Exchange Meeting at Rice University; the LCX was created in cooperation with Dr Jim Blackburn of Rice University and the initiative is co-chaired by Louisiana State Representatives Walt Leger and Jerome “Zee” Zeringue.

For more information on the ideas behind LCX check out this announcement from October 2017.

To list your proposed or completed restoration, protection and water management projects on the LCX, go to americaswetland.com/LCX and fill out the simple form. If you have any questions at all, please contact AWF.

LCX AND ADAPTATION FEATURED IN LPB’S LOUISIANA: THE STATE WE’RE IN

AWF Managing Director, Val Marmillion, was interviewed for The State We’re In by host Andre Moreau and we hear from coastal experts and state leaders including the governor on the current state of our coastal master plan as we begin to see some of the major projects on board.  Watch the segment here:

GIVE THE GIFT OF AMERICA’S WETLAND


As the holiday season approaches, give the gift of America’s WETLAND. You’ll be helping to save one of the nation’s most valuable assets so future generations can continue to benefit from this incredibly productive and fragile coastal area and all that is rooted here – culturally, environmentally, and economically:

Membership: Join the America’s WETLAND Foundation Home Team at americaswetland.com, and become a member today! With your online donation, you will become a vital partner in the Foundation’s public education efforts, habitat restoration projects and our roster of successful grassroots initiatives to save the coast for future generations. You can also give the gift of a membership to loved ones!

Amazon Smile: Shop for everyone on your gift list this holiday at smile.amazon.com/ch/30-0192739 and when you do, Amazon donates to Americas WETLAND Foundation.

Text to Give: Text WETLAND to 20222 to give $10.00. A one-time donation of $10.00 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. All donations must be authorized by the account holder.

Purchase an America’s WETLAND Foundation License Plate: Order your own America’s WETLAND Foundation license plate today! Call (225) 925-6371 for more information or visit the Louisiana Special Plates site and look under Special Interest to find the AWF plate.

IN THE NEWS 

In case you missed it, below is a compilation of some of the most interesting news stories in recent weeks.

Hundreds of Louisiana parks and wildlife areas benefited from canceled federal program
Times Picayune
November 30, 2018

Several Louisiana conservation groups are calling on Congress to revive a federal fund that helped create some of the state’s most popular parks and wildlife areas.

Congress allowed the Land and Water Conservation Fund to expire in late September, putting in doubt one of the country’s most effective means of preserving natural spaces. The fund has spent more than $215 million on 800 projects and property purchases in Louisiana. It paid for most of Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and expanded a dozen national wildlife refuges, including Bayou Sauvage in New Orleans East.
Read more here…

Wetlands Hold the Key to Cutting Emissions
Phys.org
November 29, 2018

A team of scientists has identified more ways to mitigate climate change. Restoring coastal wetlands, rewetting drained soils, preventing erosion and reconnecting wetlands to exchange with saltwater can reduce more greenhouse gas emissions if done together, according to their report. Read more here:

U.S. impacts of climate change are intensifying, federal report says
USA Today
November 28, 2018

A massive report issued by the Trump administration on Friday emphasizes the dire threat that human-caused global warming poses to the United States and its citizens. Read more here:

Google Searches Reveal Public Interest in Conservation Is Rising
Truthout
November 24, 2018

OK, Google: Has the general public lost interest in biodiversity conservation? Has people’s interest in environmental issues been overshadowed by climate change alone? Read more here:

New US study reveals natural solutions can reduce global warming
Phys.org
November 14, 2018

Restoring the United States’ lands and coastal wetlands could have a much bigger role in reducing global warming than previously thought, according to the most comprehensive national assessment to date of how greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced and stored in forests, farmland, grasslands, and wetlands. Read more here:

Rising seas give island nation a stark choice: relocate or elevate
National Geographic
November 19, 2018

Climate change means the low-lying Marshall Islands must consider drastic measures, including building new artificial islands. The navigational prowess of Marshall Islanders is legendary. For thousands of years, Marshallese have embraced their watery environment, building a culture on more than 1,200 islands scattered across 750-thousand square miles of ocean. Read more here:

Gov. Edwards Warns that Coastal Master Plan Must be guided by Science, Not Politics
Times Picayune
November 8, 2018

As Louisiana moves into an era of dramatically increased spending on coastal restoration projects – approaching $1 billion a year – the state’s leaders must remain guided by science and not politics, Gov. John Bel Edwards warned Wednesday (Nov. 7). Read the article here:

LA Governor Speaks at Summit on States Coastal Future
WAFB
November 7, 2018

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – Governor John Bel Edwards joined a summit Wednesday to discuss the future of Louisiana’s coastlines. The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and America’s Wetland Foundation hosted the meeting. The governor talked about how he thinks the state should use funds to control the loss of the coast, saying it’s more than just doing the easy thing for each parish, but looking at the big picture. Watch the coverage here:

Talk Louisiana Radio Show with Jim Engster
WRFK
November 5, 2018

America’s Wetland Foundation President Val Marmillion assesses costal challenges threatening Louisiana and previews a major summit on Wednesday at LSU featuring leaders from politics, industry, and the environment. Listen here:

Jim Brown’s Common Sense Radio Show
Various Networks
November 4, 2018

Jim Brown tries to put a level headed twist on important issues of the week, as he sorts through all the political spin to get to the real truth of the story. Val Marmillion’s interview starts at the 27-minute mark. Listen here:

Investors put Pressure on Companies to Reduce Carbon
The Guardian
April 4, 2011

A group of 34 institutional investors are demanding cost effective carbon reduction initiatives from the world’s largest companies. Carbon management is moving to the forefront of business. With rising energy prices and increasing resource scarcity, the efficient management of energy is now critical. Cost and risk factors are not alone in pushing this issue up the boardroom agenda. Companies must also consider other issues such as brand reputation, employee expectations and competitive positioning.
Read more here:

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