(New Orleans, LA—February 5, 2014) Yesterday, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) Chairman Garret Graves announced he will resign on February 17. A coalition of leading national and local conservation organizations that work on Mississippi River Delta restoration — Environmental Defense Fund, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana — issued the following response:
“The Mississippi River Delta Restoration Coalition extends our immense appreciation to Garret Graves for his tireless work to restore Louisiana’s coast. In the face of multiple hurricanes, tropical storms and the nation’s largest oil disaster, Graves overcame enormous challenges while maintaining ongoing focus to identify solutions that address our big-picture land loss crisis.
“Graves has been an impassioned, effective leader in the fight to reconnect the Mississippi River to its wetlands to create a more sustainable future. Thanks to Graves’ leadership and unanimous legislative support, Louisiana has a Coastal Master Plan in place to deliver the suite of science-based solutions needed to address coastal restoration on a large scale. We wish Graves well in his future endeavors, and we hope he will keep fighting as an invaluable voice for our coast.
“We welcome Jerome Zeringue as new CPRA chairman and look forward to working with him and his team to implement the state’s master plan. The coastal land loss crisis is a battle we can win. With the state’s commitment to coastal restoration, and with diverse partnerships working to secure resources for the future, we look forward to building on Graves’ accomplishments and advancing coastal restoration projects at full speed.”
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The Restore the Mississippi River Delta coalition is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Comprised of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in Houma, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. See more at www.mississippiriverdelta.org.