“Restoration on the Half Shell” informs citizens, stakeholders on key issues during State of the Coast 2016

Lousiana’s

This “mini-conference” was co-sponsored by the Foundation for Louisiana in conjunction with the Greater New Orleans Foundation, The Water Campus and other interests. State of the Coast was presented by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana in partnership with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA) and The Water Institute of the Gulf.

Hundreds of advocates, activists, officials, business people, fishermen, scientists, stakeholders and other citizens attended the two-part “Restoration on the Half Shell” for a range of discussions addressing coastal protection and restoration issues on Friday (June 3) — the last day of the three-day State of the Coast Conference 2016 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. This “mini-conference” was co-sponsored by the Foundation for Louisiana in conjunction with the Greater New Orleans Foundation, The Water Campus and other interests.

State of the Coast was presented by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana in partnership with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA) and The Water Institute of the Gulf.

Robin Keegan, Director of Community Resiliency, GCR, moderated both of “Restoration on the Half Shell’s” two sessions, starting with Part I: “Louisiana’s Coastal Land Loss Crisis.” David Muth, Louisiana State Director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Louisiana Coastal Campaign, gave a presentation titled “Our Delta Coast,” which examined the natural processes that built the coast and the communities that followed. Jeff Hebert, Chief Resiliency Officer for the City of New Orleans, “ presented “What’s at Risk,” which explained how the loss of land translated to a loss of community, economy and culture. “Plan for Action,” presented by Bren Haase of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, recommended a suite of solutions and multiple lines of defense for coastal protection.

The presentations were followed by a panel discussion and question-and-answer session with the audience, with help from Corey Miller, Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.

(Read more: Learn about FFL’s Coastal Resiliency Leverage Fund here)

Part II featured “Bold Action in the face of Adversity,” which grappled with three key questions. Denise Reed, Chief Scientist for The Water Institute of the Gulf, led off with her presentation, which tried to answer the question, “What is Needed?” with the idea of leveraging decades of scientific and engineering studies of the coast to get to sediment diversions, marsh creation and other important projects on the ground. Kim Reyher, Executive Director for the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, tried to answer another key question, “How Do We Pay for It?” with the reality that while the coast is priceless, restoration comes with a heavy price tag. Finally, Michael Ellis, Executive Director of The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, tackled the question, “What Happens Next?” — a look at upcoming milestones, next steps, and ways to be involved.

As with the first session, the presentations were followed by a panel discussion and question-and-answer session with the audience.

Also at State of the Coast: Liz Williams, FFL’s Coastal Communities Resiliency Program Officer, gave a presentation titled “Inhabiting Risk: Insuranceable Alternatives for a Changing Environment” from her former capacity as a Research Fellow and Affiliate with the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio.

At the luncheon, guests were welcomed by Chip Groat, President and CEO, The Water Institute of the Gulf, followed by remarks from New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.