Private foundations and organizations have and continue to play a significant role in the fight to protect and restore Louisiana’s coastal assets. Foundations such as the Walton Family Foundation (primary underwriter of this primer), Blue Moon Fund, Oxfam, and Credit Bureau Foundation (Baton Rouge), who have funded our research and educational activities, understand that Louisiana will have one chance to spend the existing and projected revenues intended for coastal restoration responsibly. And, these foundations have invested significant resources in our state in an effort to ensure that coastal stakeholders and our citizens are educated and informed to help hold government accountable for the dollars that are being and will be spent for coastal restoration and protection.
The America's WETLAND Foundation (AWF) established in Louisiana, and working throughout the Gulf region, was founded in 2002 in response to a comprehensive coastal study calling on the need to alert the nation to the devastating loss of Louisiana's coastal wetlands and how their loss impacts the rest of the nation. As a balanced forum for problem-solving and sharing of best practices for environmental and economic interests, the Foundation's goal has been to transcend historic and parochial differences for the higher good of saving national environmental and economic assets that support a broad U.S. economy and provides for domestic energy security.
Audubon Louisiana is part of a growing, powerful collaborative to deliver ground-breaking approaches to coastal conservation at very large scales and our research supports conservation and restoration policies and practices that are balanced with the needs of the local economy and culture. Our team of scientists has identified more almost 3 million acres of important bird habitat and is already working in the field to conserve and restore these precious habitats. Audubon's mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity.
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is a non-profit, investor-driven organization with 1,300 member businesses, civic organizations, education institutions, and individuals. Its mission is to lead economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge metropolitan area.
The Baton Rouge Area Foundation, a community foundation with $548 million in assets, provides two essential functions for the capital region. The Foundation begins and manages civic leadership projects and connects philanthropists with nonprofits to make sure the needs of our communities are met. The Foundation, working with state and federal leaders, set about creating The Water Institute of the Gulf. The purpose is to assemble top scientists across many fields to provide answers to land loss. The Institute could become a worldwide resource.
Blue Moon Fund works to build human and natural resilience to a changing and warming world. They use natural, social, and financial capital to implement new models in high-biodiversity regions around the world. In Louisiana from New Orleans to the Gulf Coast, the fund supports work to restore the natural balance of environment and development in hopes of preventing future catastrophes.
The Center for Coastal Conservation’s role is to affect public policy related to the conservation of marine resources with broad abilities to pursue political solutions. The organization is non-partisan and focuses on having an impact in the national political arena, principally Congress and federal regulatory agencies.
CPEX is a non-profit organization that coordinates urban, rural and regional planning efforts in Louisiana. CPEX provides best-practice planning models, innovative policy ideas, and technical assistance to individual communities that wish to create and enact master plans dealing with transportation and infrastructure needs, environmental issues, and quality design for the built environment.
The Center for Watershed Protection works to protect, restore, and enhance our streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and bays. We create viable solutions and partnerships for responsible land and water management so that every community has clean water and healthy natural resources to sustain diverse life.
The CCRE is a neutral, non-partisan group of leaders from the Southeast Louisiana business community positioned as an informed, educated voice of advocacy for sustainable restoration efforts in Louisiana’s wetlands, river, delta and coastline. The mission of CCRE is to market the business case for coastal restoration in Louisiana; maximize RESTORE and other federal funds that are allocated to Louisiana; ensure that RESTORE and other funds are spent on their intended purposes (LA Coastal Master Plan); leverage RESTORE to secure other revenue streams (e.g. WRDA, revenue sharing,); and create opportunities to engage local businesses and workforce in the implementation.
The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to drive bold, science-based action to rebuild Coastal Louisiana through outreach, restoration and advocacy. CRCL advocates for the implementation of sound coastal policies and monitors coastal activities to ensure that stringent regulations and enforcement policies are maintained.
CRCL represents a unique mix of businesses, local governments, industries, scientific communities, national and local conservation groups, hunters, anglers and a broad spectrum of concerned citizens who all share a common vision and commitment to the sustainability of coastal Louisiana. The common vision of these varied and diverse interests is the driving strength of CRCL, the most effective and recognized coastal advocacy organization in the state. CRCL works at the state, local and federal level to ensure that restoring and protecting coastal Louisiana is a top priority for our state and the nation. CRCL facilitates and funds actual restoration projects through our Community-Based Habitat Restoration Program and works diligently to raise awareness and educate others about the importance of preserving and restoring coastal Louisiana.
The purpose of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) is to advise and educate the public on conservation of marine resources. The objective of CCA is to conserve, promote, and enhance the present and future availability of those coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public. The CCA network is engaged in hundreds of local, state, and national projects that initiate scientific studies; fund marine-science scholarships; build artificial reefs; create finfish hatcheries; initiate hydrologic and contaminant studies; monitor freshwater inflows; support local marine law enforcement; and more.
The CPRA is established as the single state entity with authority to articulate a clear statement of priorities and to focus development and implementation efforts to achieve comprehensive coastal protection for Louisiana. The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s mandate is to develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive coastal protection and restoration Master Plan.
For the first time in Louisiana’s history, this single state authority is integrating coastal restoration and hurricane protection by marshaling the expertise and resources of the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Transportation and Development and other state agencies, to speak with one clear voice for the future of Louisiana’s coast. Working with federal, state and local political subdivisions, including levee districts, the CPRA is working to establish a safe and sustainable coast that will protect our communities, the nation’s critical energy infrastructure and our bountiful natural resources for generations to come.
Coastal Sustainability Consortium
The Coastal Sustainability Consortium (CSC) is a collaborative effort between participating Louisiana Universities whose faculty are leaders in coastal issues. Participating universities include LSU, Tulane, UL Lafayette, UNO, Louisiana Tech, Loyola, McNeese, Nicholls, Southeastern, Southern, UL Monroe, and Xavier.
Credit Bureau of Baton Rouge Foundation
The Credit Bureau of Baton Rouge Foundation promotes a better understanding of the consumer credit system and personal money management so everyone can achieve greater success in life. We seek to create an economically competitive and thriving Louisiana where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential because they have the tools and skills to achieve their dreams. We support organizations and initiatives in Louisiana that promote self-sufficiency and family and community stability. We are champions for collaboration, innovation and creative solutions that address the challenges facing communities across our state
The Data Center is fully independent and are experts at bringing data together from multiple sources. In doing so, they are uniquely able to step beyond the limits of analyzing data from just one perspective and take a 360–degree look at issues that matter most to the region from the government, business, nonprofit, and community perspective. In these ways, The Data Center realizes its mission to build prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable communities by making informed decisions possible. The Data Center’s areas of expertise include disaster recovery, regional economic analysis, workforce development, racial disparity indicators, blight reduction, affordable housing, and coastal population movements. Their coastal research examines changing population and employment dynamics along the coast, as well as the economic diversification and spillover potential of coastal restoration work featured in their Coastal Index.
Ducks Unlimited conserves, restores, and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl. Ducks Unlimited is seeking to raise $60 million in public and philanthropic funds to achieve conservation goals on the Gulf Coast. Funding derived from the Gulf Coast Initiative enables Ducks Unlimited to conduct important science, public policy, and outreach efforts, as well as conserving habitats important to waterfowl that migrate and winter on the coast. DU's research and evaluation efforts are the foundation upon which direct conservation programs and policy and outreach work are based.
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than one million members and a staff of 500 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. The EDF has focused their attention on prioritizing the Coastal Master Plan projects with the greatest potential to provide the widest benefits.
Greater New Orleans, Inc. is a regional economic development alliance serving the 10-parish region of Southeast Louisiana. In response to the oil spill, they launched the Coastal Vitality Project to provide information and resources to businesses and individuals impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Recognizing the absence of a unified voice from the greater business community advocating for Coastal Restoration, GNO, Inc. created the Coalition for Coastal Resilience and Economy (CCRE).
The Greater New Orleans Foundation programs addressing coastal restoration help local environmental organizations diversify their base and collaborate with other organizations to increase their effectiveness; bring together appropriate nonprofits to create a complementary group of pilot projects that will provide models for other coastal parishes to use as they adapt to the realities of wetland loss and limited funding for additional structural protections such as levee; sponsor research and convene appropriate NGOs and government entities for collaborations that are relevant to the Foundation’s environmental areas of interest, including its coastal work; and help low-income communities of color learn about and abate the high levels of lead in their homes, soil, and neighborhoods.
The Governor's Office of Coastal Activities was created by Act 6 of the 1989 Second Extra-Ordinary Session of the Legislature for the protection, restoration and conservation of coastal Louisiana. The mission of the Governor's Office of Coastal Activities and of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is to provide aggressive state leadership, direction, and consonance in the development and implementation of comprehensive policies, plans and programs which achieve a balanced approach to the protection and restoration of Louisiana’s unique coastal resources and the flood and hurricane protection of our communities.
In July 2012, the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act) established the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council), which is comprised of governors from the five affected Gulf States, the Secretaries from the U.S. Departments of the Interior, Commerce, Agriculture, and Homeland Security as well as the Secretary of the Army and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. One of the Council's primary responsibilities is to develop a Comprehensive Plan to restore the ecosystem and the economy of the Gulf Coast region. The Council approved the Initial Comprehensive Plan in August 2013.
In early 2013, a U.S. District Court approved two plea agreements resolving certain criminal cases against BP and Transocean which arose from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. The agreements direct a total of $2.544 billion to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to fund projects benefiting the natural resources of the Gulf Coast that were impacted by the spill. Between 2013 and 2018, NFWF’s newly established Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund will receive a total of $1.272 billion for barrier island and river diversion projects in Louisiana. The plea agreements required that the funds be allocated solely to barrier island restoration projects and river diversion projects along the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers. NFWF must give appropriate consideration to Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan and the Louisiana Coastal Area Mississippi River Hydrodynamic and Delta Management Study.
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is a Regional Ocean Partnership working to sustain the resources of the Gulf of Mexico. Led by the five Gulf States, the broad partner network includes federal agencies, academic organizations, businesses, and other non-profits in the region. Our goal is to significantly increase regional collaboration to enhance the environmental and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico. One of the priorities identified by the five Gulf states is coastal resilience, defined as the capacity of human and natural/physical systems to adapt to and recover from change. GOMA’s Coastal Resilience Team will focus on risk communication, resilience assessment, and coastal adaption and planning.
The Gulf of Mexico Foundation’s mission is to promote and facilitate conservation of the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico and its resources through education, public awareness, research and leadership programs. The Gulf of Mexico Foundation’s Conservation and Restoration programs tackle our mission from every angle, working to fund on-the-ground restoration, streamline resource management practices, support habitat protection, and provide resources to organizations, agencies and the public.
Gulf Restoration Network is committed to uniting and empowering people to protect and restore the natural resources of the Gulf Region. Gulf Restoration Network’s work spans issues ranging from holding BP accountable for the its drilling disaster to helping restore the coastal lines of defense the protect our communities from storm surge and sea level rise.
Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF) was established in response to environmental concerns voiced throughout the Basin. As the public’s independent voice, LPBF is dedicated to restoring and preserving the water quality, coast, and habitats of the entire Pontchartrain Basin. Through coordination of restoration activities, education, advocacy, monitoring of the regulatory process, applied scientific research, and citizen action, LPBF works in partnership with all segments of the community to reclaim the Basin for this and future generations. Although LPBF has been active in coastal restoration since its inception in 1989, it was in June 2005 that a formal program with a director was created.
Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Sea Grant Program. LSU was designated the nation’s thirteenth Sea Grant College in 1978. Louisiana Sea Grant serves as a bridge between our state’s academic expertise and the needs of those who manage, conserve, enjoy and make their living on our coast. At any given time, Louisiana Sea Grant manages or participates in more than 50 research, extension, education and communication projects across the coastal landscape. Through workshops, newsletters, conferences and personal contacts with competing user groups, Sea Grant agents and specialists promote sustainability of coastal and wetland resources.
The Louisiana Water Environment Association (LWEA) is an open organization dedicated to the protection, promotion and enhancement of the water environment through: meeting the needs of our members for professional growth and development; and sharing information, expertise and resources with our members, the public and others on water environment issues.
The Coastal Studies Institute is an interdisciplinary organization established to foster collaborative coastal science and engineering research in coastal settings, with over twenty leading faculty and more students spanning five departments in five colleges and schools at LSU. Their research is interdisciplinary, including coastal geology, engineering, and oceanography, emphasizing deltaic, shelf and slope sedimentary environments. Their research capabilities include a wide range of field operations, physical and numerical modeling, and laboratory facilities, from deep-ocean moorings to beach monitoring, wave tanks, physical models, high-performance computing, and biogeochemical analyses. Their primary research goal is to develop scientific knowledge, engineering principles, and planning tools to facilitate a resilient human presence and renaissance on deltaic coasts, which are threatened world-wide by land loss and declining water and sediment supplies. An additional broader goal is to enhance LSU research efforts in coastal and shelf-sea processes and products around the world.
The mission of the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio (CSS), founded in 2009, is to address the challenge of sustaining the ecological, settlement, and economic framework of the coast.
At CSS, scientists, engineers, and designers come together to intensively study and respond to issues of settlement, coastal restoration, flood protection, and the economy. We bring together disciplines that normally work separately so that we can respond to critical coastal issues in a comprehensive way. CSS was conceived as a laboratory to develop new strategies that reduce risk to social, economic, and natural resources. The results of this design experimentation provide a sound basis for major policy decisions for adaptation through more sustainable land-use planning, protection, and education.
LSU’s School of the Coast and Environment exists to provide knowledge, technology, and human resources for successful management of natural resources and resolution of environmental issues important to Louisiana, the Gulf of Mexico region, and comparable areas throughout the nation and the world.
National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is a voice for wildlife, dedicated to protecting wildlife and habitat and inspiring the future generation of conservationists. NWF is working with a coalition of conservation groups to help recover the environmental and economic health of the Gulf ecosystem, for wildlife, local communities and the nation.
The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. Through Louisiana's Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority and matching corporate support, The Conservancy is rebuilding and extending Louisiana's coast with artificial oyster reefs. Slowly but steadily we are building a 'living shoreline' with oyster beds which buffer our coast against storm surges and coastal erosion while providing habitat for many species of fish, shellfish and oysters.
Ocean Conservancy works to keep the ocean healthy, to keep us healthy. Their goal is to bring people together to find solutions for our water planet. They educate and empower people to defend not only the ocean and its wildlife, but also the millions who earn their living from the ocean. For more than two decades, Ocean Conservancy has worked in the Gulf of Mexico to secure a sustainable future for the region. They are committed to doing everything they can, in coordination with all willing partners, to advocate for science-based restoration plans that go beyond the oil disaster and address the entire Gulf as one interconnected ecosystem. Ocean Conservancy has developed a framework to guide ecosystem restoration efforts in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. By convening a range of partners, experts and regional stakeholders, they have also provided decision-makers with recommendations for restoration projects that reflect an integrated and Gulf-wide approach.
Oxfam America is a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice. Oxfam’s approach is about tackling the conditions that cause poverty in the first place, rather than the distribution of material goods. Oxfam continues to work to ensure that these policies are implemented in ways that bring economic and environmental benefits to the most vulnerable communities through coastal restoration projects and skill training and hiring processes to employ people most affected by the oil spill. To support their policy positions, Oxfam has issued several research reports.
Restore or Retreat (ROR) is a non-profit coastal advocacy group created by coastal Louisiana residents and stakeholders who recognize that the Barataria and Terrebonne basins are the two most rapidly eroding estuaries on earth, and that this erosion represents an economic and ecological crisis. With a growing membership of over 250 businesses and individuals, ROR seeks to identify and expedite the implementation of aggressive, large-scale restoration projects to protect this irreplaceable region.
The Tulane Institute on Water Resources and Policy works to foster understanding and development of laws and policies that allow for improved stewardship and sustainable management of our water resources through research, teaching, and outreach. The Institute uses the efforts to cope with recovery, sustainability and coastal change in New Orleans and the surrounding coast as a "living laboratory". This "laboratory" offers a unique crucible for forging an understanding of how water resources law and policy shape both risk and opportunity, and how efforts to apply science, engineering, and resource management practices to meet our society's ecologic, cultural, and economic needs might be better served by enlightened law and policy both locally and beyond.
For nearly three decades, the Walton Family Foundation has continued the philanthropic vision begun by Walmart founders Sam and Helen Walton. They had an unshakable belief in the power of individuals to transform their lives. Today the Walton Family Foundation, led by Sam and Helen’s children and grandchildren, focuses on awarding grants that drive not just incremental, but transformative, change. The Walton Family Foundation is committed to preserving marine biodiversity in four priority ecosystems around the world through projects that protect threatened species while ensuring that local industries and communities can thrive.
The Water Institute of the Gulf is a not-for-profit, independent research institute dedicated to advancing the understanding of coastal, deltaic, river and water resource systems, both within the Gulf Coast and around the world. Our mission supports the practical application of innovative science and engineering, providing solutions that benefit society. The Water Institute’s work provides coastal communities with improved information about the kinds of changes they can expect and what they can do to prepare for such changes.
This Coastal Primer could not have been produced without the expert advice and meaningful dialogue and deliberations from the subject matter experts who are extraordinary assets to our state and nation.
Stakeholder contributors and reviewers:
|King Milling||Justin Ehrenwerth||Cynthia Duet|
|Kyle Graham||Garret Graves||Mark Davis|
|Janice Lansing||Jenny Kurtz||Robin Barnes|
|Tanner Johnson||Karen Gautreaux||Lacy Strohschein|