July 2019 Newsletter

ANNOUNCING AWF’S FIRST VIRTUAL COMMUNITY ADAPTATION LEADERSHIP FORUM

“Aligning Louisiana Government with the Rising Tide”

Join us on Thursday, September 5, 2019 from 10:00 am – 11:30 amfor a virtual Community Adaptation Forum. As communities across the Gulf Coast are dealing with the effects of sea level rise and stronger and longer lasting storms impact our coasts, AWF will help build consensus for moving from resiliency to adaptation. Headlining this event will be Chip Kline, Chairman, Louisiana Coastal Protection Authority, and other coastal leaders. Understanding and adapting to the “new normal” includes agencies of at all levels of government re-aligning strategic plans to account for changing coastal conditions. Kline will provide an 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 Coastaland is supported by

Don’t wait and plan to attend with your computer from the comfort of your office or home – register to attend here.
 
INITIAL LOUISIANA COASTAL EXCHANGE (LCX) PROJECT  
ADDS 12,000 FEET OF NEW MARSH TERRACES  
AT BAYOU TERREBONNE
An important milestone was reached as Resource Environmental Solutions (RES) completed a wetland restoration project in partnership with AWF that created almost 12,000 linear feet of vegetated marsh terraces that will provide new vital foraging, nursery and nesting habitat for crustaceans, fish and wildlife. The 50 acres of newly created marsh will also help protect a taxpayer-funded levee that protects Terrebonne Parish.
The Bayou Terrebonne project is one of two restoration projects that make up The Terrebonne Biodiversity and Resiliency Projects, a coastal partnership with The America’s WETLAND Foundation, RES and BHP. The other project at Pointe-Aux-Chenes included the planting of 30,000 cypress trees with the help of more then 160 local volunteers to restore an historic cypress forest. Together the two projects represent a private sector investment of $3.4 million dollars that restored 150 acres of wetlands with a annual economic value of $1.2 million and other yearly benefits including, 280 tons of carbon sequestered, the elimination of up to 266 pounds of phosphorus and 10,600 pounds of nitrogen to improve water quality in lower Terrebonne Parish. Reports following the recent Barry hurricane event show that the projects were not impacted and maintained their growth and progress.
The foundation has made private sector restoration a priority and, as a model, the initial two projects were made possible with the support of BHP’s funding. Our partner, Resource Environment Solutions, LLC (RES), undertook the project design and implementation and will continue to monitor the projects in the years to come.
NEW PROSPECTIVE PROJECTS ADDED TO
LOUISIANA COASTAL EXCHANGE (LCX)
A set of new projects, The Terrebonne Parish Restoration, Monitoring and Access Projects, are now being offered on the LCX for private sector support. The projects are a partnership between the America’s WETLAND Foundation and Nicholls State University. The donation will help both the university and the environment by supporting three important projects:
Raccoon Island Conservation Stabilization with Mangroves
This project would include the harvesting of 2,500 Mangrove buds from nearby islands and the planting of 1,000 Mangrove buds on Raccoon Island that have been fertilized during grow-out and gradually salt hardened for a year at the Nicholls State Farm.
 
Advancing Coastal Restoration Planning and Implementation Using Drones
This project proposes the use of drones to monitor  Isle Dernieres and document geomorphological changes in association with coastal restoration activities and natural processes, as well as how coastal water birds and shorebirds utilize this dynamic landscape.
 
Restoring a Bridge to Coastal Plants
The Nicholls State coastal restoration program supplies native plants and trees for coastal restoration work through its farm. This project proposes building a concrete bridge to reconnect 40% of the farm that has been inaccessible since 2014 when a wooden bridge collapsed.
Without access to the land beyond the bridge, the naturally growing vegetation and trees will soon make it extremely difficult to reclaim the land. Monitoring of the building of a concrete bridge to reach the inaccessible land will be ongoing during the construction process.
If your company or organization wished to participate in the LCX and is interested in supporting these projects or learning more about them, visit the project page.
To list projects on the LCX, simply go to americaswetland.com/LCX and fill out the simple form.
SEA SAFE COMMUNITIES

The America’s WETLAND Foundation (AWF) is working with Gulf Coast communities to address a challenge that is literally at their doorstep – how to remain viable in the wake of sea level rise. AWF is currently developing, in conjunction with our upcoming adaptation forums, a program called “Sea Save Community Certification” (SSCC). This initiative will establish a path to private sustainability and adaptation in coastal towns and cities.

As the threat of flooding and destructive weather events ramps up in the public consciousness, and with it, the perception of at-risk and non-insurable property is starting to negatively impact local communities and their economies. It is unknown when the tipping point of irreversible public perception of decreased property value will be reached but a slide in public confidence is inevitable without a strong adaptation strategy.

Through the Sea Safe Communities Certification Program, AWF will work with coastal populations across the Gulf Coast to develop adaptation strategies that move beyond planning and into real action, generating public support for stabilizing strong investment across the Gulf South. The program represents a continuation of Foundation initiatives that hosted the first community resiliency assessments in each zip code of the Gulf Coast in 2011-2012, where it was found in an Entergy-sponsored Swiss-re/McKenzie study that local and state economies of the region will be challenged to finance lost infrastructure attributed to sea level rise, climate change and stronger, longer lasting storm event.

As communities make progress with criteria demonstrating action toward adaptation, they will be certified as Sea Safe Communities. The designation is important in that it denotes taking critical steps to reduce vulnerabilities that threaten a community’s future economic viability due to the rising tide. These designations are essential for communities to avoid the stigma of investments being considered a bad risk, which can impact real estate, local tax revenue and public services.

Sea Safe Community Certification aligns with the Dutch concept of living with water and building with nature. It is about fortifying economies as well as environmental assets to ensure sustainability and a viable future. And, SSCC programming is about defining opportunities beyond managed retreat and advancing new careers and economic progress with traditional and new coastal industries, including restoration sciences and services.

AWF PRESENTS TO LOUISIANA GIRLS LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
Sidney Coffee, senior advisor to AWF, recently spoke to the group of young women participating in the Louisiana Girls Leadership Academy held at Nicholls State University. She focused on the need and importance of working together – NGOs, communities, the energy and business sectors – to each play a role in restoring our coastal wetlands.
Among those speaking to the group were Dr. Jay Clune, president of Nicholls, Lt Governor Billy Nungesser, Louisiana Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, and Amanda Brunson, Director of Women’s Policy for Governor John Bel Edwards. AWF has always taken seriously the need to help educate future generations about our coast and what it provides and to encourage lifetime commitment and stewardship.

 

 

 

 

 

To see this newsletter with images go here…