Hello From New Orleans . . .
. . . and the 2014 Conference on Ecological and Ecosystem Restoration (“CEER 2014″). The week-long conference will highlight many Mississippi River Basin and Louisiana Gulf Coast studies and remedial efforts (there are 146 citations for the “Mississippi River,” 21 for the “Louisiana coast,” and 71 for the “Gulf of Mexico” in the conference abstract compilation). Tuesday’s opening plenary session for the conference will feature remarks by R. King Milling, CEER 2014 Honorary Chair, and Chair of Louisiana Governor’s Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation. Wednesday’s morning plenary session will deal with “Mississippi River Restoration,” when speakers seek to frame the nature and scope of action required to sustainably manage the Mississippi River system; assuring the integrity of its natural resources and assets. Moderated by Val Marmillion of America’s Wetland Foundation, the Wednesday session contributors include Edward E. Belk, Jr., Director of Programs, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mississippi Valley Division; Gary LaGrange, President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans; Robert Twilley, Executive Director, LSU Sea Grant College Program; and Kirk Hanlin, Assistant Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Friday morning’s plenary will focus on “Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration – RESTORE – Deepwater Horizon,” and feature a discussion of restoration plans and programs such as RESTORE, NRDA funding of projects, the Gulf Environmental Fund and the Louisiana State Master Plan. That session’s speakers include Justin Ehrenwerth, Executive Director, Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council; Kyle Graham, Executive Director, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Tanner Johnson, Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund Director (Louisiana and Texas) (Moderator: Don Boesch, President, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science).