August 2019 Newsletter


“Aligning Louisiana Government with the Rising Tide”

Start your morning with an exclusive briefing by Chip Kline, Chairman of the Louisiana Coastal Protection Authority and other coastal leaders as they discuss   plans to align state government with the fight to hold back the rising waters along Louisiana’s coast. Join us on Thursday, September 5, 2019 from 10:00 am – 11:30 am for a virtual Community Adaptation Forum.

Kline will provide insight into defining the change ahead and the program will suggest ways that coastal communities can be strengthened through adaptation strategies and tools that take advantage of the natural environment. This webinar will be held in cooperation with AWF’s partner, eRotary Coastal, and is supported by Entergy.

Register now to attend the webinar from your computer at your office or home.

Remembering Governor Blanco

It is with great sadness and tremendous gratitude that we at the America’s Wetland Foundation bid farewell to Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. She was as a true public servant with honesty and integrity and a passion that never waned.

When faced with the extraordinary challenges of back-to-back Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, she worked tirelessly to lift up the state in its belief that recovery was possible. Out of the devastation, Governor Blanco led actions that changed the way we tackle coastal land loss and make government work in concert on one of the greatest challenges any state could face.

At the CPRA board meeting on August 21, 2019, Sidney Coffee, America’s WETLAND Foundation’s Senior Advisor and former Chair of CPRA, recounted how critical Blanco’s leadership was in the creation of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the completion of the state’s first coastal Master Plan. And it was during her tenure that Louisiana dedicated all future offshore oil and gas revenues to coastal restoration and protection, a move that helped pass GOMESA, the Federal law that gives Louisiana and other Gulf oil and gas producing states a greater share of the offshore revenues. Her strong leadership on these actions will leave a long and meaningful legacy for our coast.

CPRA Chairman, Chip Kline said at the meeting “the fact is … that (without her) none of us would be sitting on this board today or in this room today,” he said. “If it weren’t for Gov. Blanco, there would be no CPRA, no (coastal) Master Plan, no annual plan and probably no GOMESA revenue stream.”

Our hearts go out to the family and to all the people of our state who experienced Governor Blanco’s love of Louisiana. Future generations will benefit greatly from her wise and extraordinary leadership.

Below are some videos and articles of interest regarding Gov. Blanco’s legacy:

Watch Governor Blanco’s Opening Remarks at the first CPRA meeting here..

Watch WAFB’s coverage here…

Houma Today: Our opinion: Blanco’s coastal legacy transcends Katrina Gov. Blanco remembered by coastal authority for shaping state coastal protection, restoration efforts

AWF to Present at the Climate Strong Islands Dialogue

Val Marmillion, Managing Director of the America’s WETLAND Foundation (AWF), will make a presentation at The New York Community Trust’s Climate Strong Islands Dialogue in New York on September 26, 2019.

Marmillion has been working with the Monroe County, Florida Climate Change Advisory Committee to help write its five-year adaptation plan to include communities from Key West to Key Largo. Similar to Southeast Louisiana, inundation maps and concern over soon-to-be-released FEMA flood designations increase the need for solutions to sustain Gulf Coast communities from Texas to Florida.

Taking place during Climate Week 2019, the event will bring together island representatives from government, academic, and nonprofit institutions with subject matter experts and funders to discuss common challenges, exchange ideas, and explore opportunities for dialogue and collaboration.

AWF Weighs in on Nutrient Management Strategy

AWF recognized early on the important role the Mississippi River and its drainage basin play in nutrient management with a watershed that stretches across 31 states and 2 Canadian provinces. In 2012 the Foundation launched “The Big River Works” initiative to identify opportunities for moving to a more sustainable future for one of America’s most treasured assets.

One of the key vulnerabilities for the Mississippi River is its Altered Nutrient Regime, where high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus enter the river from non-point source pollution, predominantly from agricultural lands, exacerbated by river channelization that delivers them directly to the Gulf of Mexico, fueling the hypoxic zone.

The Foundation’s America’s Energy Coast (AEC) initiative issued a call for full funding of the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan in 2009, noting that “federal and state agencies do not have the resources necessary to monitor and prevent the massive runoff of nutrients that feed algae blooms, deplete water oxygen levels, and ultimately suffocate fish and other vital ecosystems in the Gulf.” The Big River Works initiative was in response to this call for action.

The Louisiana Nutrient Management Strategy is one of 12 state nutrient strategies created under the auspices of the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan. AWF’s Big River Works summits and reports have helped support the river-wide cooperation demonstrated by the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan and the scale of joint action needed to restore the health of the river and Louisiana’s coast.