January 2019 Newsletter

A Big ‘Hats Off’ to Chip Kline and Bren Haase!
We are delighted with the recent appointments by Governor John Bel Edwards of Chip Kline to chair the CPRA and to lead the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities and Bren Haase as executive director of CPRA. This is a winning team for Louisiana and we applaud the governor’s choices for these extremely important positions.

Chip is a tremendous asset to the coastal effort and will offer steady leadership in the months ahead. His experience and knowledge will serve him and Louisiana well.

Bren Haase brings leadership and deep experience and history to a coastal program that would daunt many others. Bren walks in to the position with all he needs to succeed and carry it forward.
Read our statement here…

List your Coastal Project on the New Louisiana Coastal Exchange
AWF recently announced a new resource to help to recognize work by private NGOs, foundations and private sponsors to establish restoration projects to help meet the challenges faced in Louisiana by coastal erosion and land loss. The Louisiana Coastal Exchange (LCX) is an online inventory and reporting of private sector coastal restoration projects that have been completed or are planned and available for private investment.

The LCX gives you a couple of ways to promote your efforts – first it provides a unique opportunity to offer projects for private funding that may not be prioritized in the state’s master plan but are consistent with it, even complementary to the plan, and can hold the line against coastal land loss 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; the citizens of our state have clearly said through past polling of Louisiana voters that they expect us all to work together to get the job done but that they are unsure as to the extent of private sector impact with restoration.

To list projects on the LCX, simply go to americaswetland.com/LCX and fill out the simple form.

America’s WETLAND Planting Gets Unprecedented Response
The America’s WETLAND Foundation (AWF) is fired up about its upcoming volunteer planting!
Our call for volunteers to join with e-Rotary Coastal to plant a thousand Bald Cypress trees to reconstitute an historic Cypress-Tupelo swamp in Terrebonne Parish was met with an overwhelming response and because of increased interest and in order to protect the environment where we are restoring wetlands, we have reached our volunteer limit for this planting. You can still join in on the fun, by checking out the event via live stream on the Foundation’s Facebook page.

The call went out for volunteers this month for a February 9th planting in the Pointe-Aux-Chenes area south of Houma. As part of its Terrebonne Biodiversity and Resiliency Projects, AWF teamed up with global energy company, BHP, and the regional nursery and wetland specialists, Resource Environmental Solutions (RES), to restore 100 acres of an historic Cypress-Tupelo swamp that has succumbed to salt water intrusion and in turn created a threat to low lying communities in Terrebonne Parish and important wildlife habitats.

With the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries as a partner, the site was prepared for volunteers to get muddy planting trees that will help add 30,000 Bald Cypress to the wetlands area, enhancing biodiversity in the region.
It seems this event appealed to all segments of the population; beyond the Rotarians, a number of civic organizations, youth clubs, scouting troops, and entire families registered for the planting challenge.  One email we received was heartwarming:

“I love the area, and would like to help out in any way I can. I am an older woman, so not exactly burly or strong, but am mobile and love any kind of gardening/earthy work. I have another friend my age who might be interested as well, if you’re accepting non-youthful folks!”

This spirit of hope and dedication to the land that has hosted generations of Louisianans is a part of the Foundation’s drive to encourage private sector participation and support for restoration projects in its recently announced Louisiana Coastal Exchange (LCX).
Below see wide coverage for the volunteer plantings and important coastal restoration news items of note.

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

Governor Edwards Taps Bren Haase as CPRA Executive Director
NOLA.com
January 29, 2019

Bren Haase, a key employee of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority since its creation in 2005, was appointed Tuesday (Jan. 29) to be its executive director, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced.

Volunteers Needed for Wetlands Restoration Project
Houma Courier
January 25, 2019

The America’s Wetlands Foundation is trying to restore part of the bayou and needs your help. The foundation, major sponsor BHP and Restoration Environmental Solutions in cooperation with the South Louisiana eRotary Coastal Club are hosting a group of volunteers to plant 1,000 bald cypress trees at the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area.

Governor Edwards to Restore Funding for Louisiana’s Coastal Wetlands
WGNO
January 25, 2019

Wednesday, Governor John Bel Edwards announced the promise to restore the millions of dollars that were cut from Louisiana coastal restoration and preparedness program. The America’s WETLAND Foundation says the dollars will now go where they were meant to go – to critically needed coastal restoration projects.

In New England, Home Prices Fall as Seas Rise
CBS News
January 24, 2019

A rising tide may lift all boats, but that doesn’t apply to coastal real estate. Higher sea levels have slashed the home values of four New England states by more than $400 million over a dozen years, according to research from the Brooklyn-based nonprofit First Street Foundation.

Volunteers Wanted to Plant Cypress Trees in Terrebonne Parish
NOLA.com
January 23, 2019

A group of private companies and coastal advocates are looking for volunteers to help plant 1,000 bald cypress trees in the Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area on Feb. 9. Volunteers will receive lunch and a t-shirt, according to a news release.

What’s in the Gov. Edwards $350 million Coastal Plan?
NOLA.com
January 23, 2019

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced plans Wednesday for spending about $350 million in coastal dollars, including money to accelerate a nearly half-century-old project to protect LaPlace and nearby areas.

2 Groups Planting Trees in Louisiana’s Wetlands
AP
January 21, 2019

At least two groups are planting trees in Louisiana’s wetlands to restore swamps and help slow coastal erosion. America’s Wetland Foundation will be working Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Pointe aux Chenes Wildlife Management Area in Terrebonne Parish.

Want to Volunteer?
The Advocate
January 19, 2019

America’s Wetland Foundation is heading a team needing volunteers to plant cypress trees, and hopefully reforest, newly reclaimed lands in the Pointe-Aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area near Montegut in Terrebonne Parish. Work is scheduled for 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Feb. 9.

To see this newsletter with the images and links go here…