June 2008 Newsletter

Rising Gas Prices, Lack of Federal Support are 2008 Storm Warnings

On May 30, just before hurricane season officially opened, the America’s WETLAND Foundation released results of 4-state poll that showed residents in the energy-producing coastal states were concerned about a storm’s impact on fuel supplies and the lack of national support for the region.

The poll, conducted for the America’s WETLAND Foundation May 15-22 by the national polling firm, The Kitchens Group, shows 84% think a major storm in the Gulf of Mexico would affect oil prices throughout the nation.

America’s Energy Coast Initiative Garners Broad Support
During the first four months of 2008, the America’s WETLAND Foundation continued to build momentum and support around its newest project, entitled Climate, Energy and the Coast: The New Sustainability.

As a part of the Climate, Energy and the Coast project, the America’s Energy Coast (AEC) will create a positive and balanced national dialogue on America’s energy future, ensuring that the key voices of the gulf coast region are heard and that their contributions are recognized.

So far, the AEC initiative has rallied the support and participation of over a hundred experts and stakeholders. These individuals represent industry, national environmental organizations, and decision makers on task forces focused on specific issue areas that will frame the opportunities and challenges to the sustainability of a working coast. Pulling from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the task forces will draw on the policies, best practices and technologies that will comprise a unique four state accord for economic and environmental sustainability, the initial language of which will be announced July 24th at a leadership forum for AEC to be convened at the Woodlands Conference Center.

America’s WETLAND to Co-Host Insurability of the Coast Forum
On June 16th, the America’s WETLAND Foundation will join with Louisiana Sea Grant, Louisiana State University and the Louisiana Department of Insurance to co-host the fourth Presidents’ Forum on Meeting Coastal Challenges – Insurability of the Coast. During the meeting, experts will discuss crucial topics including flood insurance, reinsurance, public and private providers, floodplain mapping, comprehensive planning as it relates to natural hazards, and the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

Among those who will address the Forum will be Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance James J. Donelon, along with insurance commissioners from Mississippi, Florida and North Carolina. The Forum will also include representatives of federal, state and private insurance organizations.

The Forum will take place on Monday, June 16, 2008, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Hotel Monteleone, 214 Rue Royale, New Orleans, La. 70130.

Women of the Storm join Google and YouTube to Host Presidential Forum in New Orleans
Gov. Jindal, Mayor Nagin and the New Orleans Consortium – Women of the Storm with the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Dillard, Loyola, Tulane and Xavier universities – announced their plans to work with Google and YouTube in a Presidential forum on September 18 that will address issues critical to the nation’s future. The forum will be held in the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. “This forum that will use technology to ensure that real citizens with real challenges are a part of the conversation, which will take place in a city whose own citizens personify resilience and rebuilding,” said Women of the Storm Founder Anne Milling.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize Winners Announced!
Over six hundred entries were received from Louisiana students for the Keep Your Eye on the Prize Art, Photo and Essay Contest. May 15th was the deadline and contest judges met in Baton Rouge on May 20th to review the entries.

Sponsored by the America’s WETLAND Foundation, the contest was created to emphasize the importance of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands and remind youth that saving and restoring our fragile coast is not only critical to their well being — wherever they live — but it is also critical to the entire nation’s environment and the economy. Hundreds of children participated in the contest, which was recognized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in their March issue of Gulf of Mexico News.

The “prize” for every participant is making a contribution to building a sustainable coast with healthy wetlands, which protect humans, their homes, and the hundreds of species that inhabit America’s WETLAND. And the top entry in each category will receive $500 for a restoration event and recognition on the America’s WETLAND website.

Recent Events:

Estusarians Entertain at Family Day
On Sunday May 18, the Historic New Orleans Collection presented Family Day, a free event offering entertainment and educational activities for all ages. America’s WETLAND Estuarians joined in the fun, which included a presentation of the Collection’s exhibition Surrounded by Water, which focuses on the importance of preserving Louisiana’s wetlands. The celebration also featured live music by the Lost Bayou Ramblers, live wetland creatures, arts and crafts projects, and demonstrations from the U.S. Coast Guard and National Park Service. Former riverboat captain Clarke “Doc” Hawley lent his expertise in the exhibition gallery, and Mark Twain will even make an appearance and share his tales of life on the river.

Upcoming Events:

4th Presidents’ Forum on Meeting Coastal Challenges to focus on insurability along the Gulf Coast
The America’s WETLAND Foundation has joined with the Louisiana Department of Insurance and Louisiana State University, to present the 4th Presidents’ Forum on Meeting Coastal Challenges: Insurability of the Gulf Coast. The Forum will take place on Monday, June 16, 2008, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Hotel Monteleone, 214 Rue Royale, New Orleans, La. 70130.

America’s Energy Coast Leadership Forum II
The America’s WETLAND Foundation will convene its second America’s Energy Coast Leadership Forum in The Woodlands, Texas on July 24, 2008.

The Forum will bring together industry stakeholders, academic leaders, government officials, and national environment organizations to identify actions needed to sustain energy production in the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, in an environmentally sound landscape. During the Forum, the work of over a hundred stakeholders will be unveiled as the “America’s Energy Coast Accord for a Sustainable Gulf Coast.” The Accord will suggest best practices, technology and solutions, and policy to ensure a sustainable future for the region.