The America’s WETLAND Foundation (AWF) was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2002 to raise public awareness of the impact Louisiana’s wetland loss has on the state, nation and world, and to gain support for efforts to conserve and save coastal Louisiana.
Former president of the Southern Governor’s Association, then-Louisiana Governor Mike Foster, launched AWF and called on the nation to recognize the dire consequences on the horizon without dedicated action to turn back the tide of coastal land loss. Demonstrating the urgency of the problem, NGOs and industry leaders joined together with the governor to announce the creation of AWF.
As a balanced forum for problem-solving and sharing of best practices for environmental and economic interests, AWF’s goal has been to transcend historical and parochial differences for the higher good of saving national environmental and economic assets located along Louisiana’s coastline that support the U.S. economy and provide for its domestic energy security.
AWF serves as a successful neutral convener, bringing diverse interests to the table to seek and establish solutions for ensuring the sustainability of coastal Louisiana and yielding critical environmental and economic benefits for the nation.
Since its inception, AWF has been educating the public through international conferences, summits and restoration projects coupled with pro-active media relations and public outreach. The Foundation’s ability to communicate complex coastal issues and solutions to the public is bolstered by the fact that it enjoys 84% approval rating in Louisiana as a trusted coastal voice.
Changing public attitudes, creating incentives for private land restoration, advancing sound coastal policy, increasing restoration funding and bringing national attention to the value of coastal wetlands make AWF’s research-based approach unique.
The Foundation is now putting its money where its message has always been – in the wetlands. Through partnerships with private funders, it has one highly effective project under its belt on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and is presently working with BHP and Resources Environmental Solutions (RES) on two projects in Terrebonne Parish. AWF’s emphasis is on private partnerships that produce transitional projects that can hold the line against erosion and saltwater intrusion as larger parish and state efforts come on line.
AWF is led by a diverse and accomplished board of directors, chaired by civic leader R. King Milling of New Orleans, La. To learn more about Louisiana’s coastal land loss, its importance to the nation and solutions to coastal erosion, visit the Issues and Solutions section of the website.