Restore the Mississippi River Delta is a coalition of five organizations dedicated to conservation: the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, the Environmental Defense Fund, the National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation and the Pontchartrain Conservancy. Campaign Director Simone Maloz talked to Avenue about why rebuilding and protecting the vital Mississippi River Delta region is a common goal for so many people.
Like many native to the area, Maloz grew up near a bayou, and enjoying the state’s coast was part of daily life. By choosing a career in the coastal world, Maloz hopes to protect coastal Louisiana for her children and generations to come, creating a space for both people and the coast itself to thrive.
“The river is what built us here in coastal Louisiana, and our future lies there as well,” said Maloz.
With the state investing over $1 billion for the protection and restoration of coastal Louisiana, this is a big year for Restore the Mississippi River Delta. Crucial to both the environment and the economy, the investment will fund many projects, including the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain risk reduction project and the River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp.
Some of the projects affect change right away. Marsh creation projects build land immediately and restore acres of land, for instance.
Restore the Mississippi River Delta’s long-term projects may span decades, and they include plans to protect Louisiana well into the future. Additional long-term solutions include sediment diversion projects.
As Maloz explains, protecting this part of the world requires help from many sectors. “This isn’t just science, it’s all things: communities, a little bit of politics, navigation and levy protection,” said Maloz. Restore the Mississippi River Delta needs support from a variety of different stakeholder groups.
Individuals and groups can support Restore the Mississippi River Delta’s efforts as well. Several volunteer activities benefit the organization and its partners, including tree planting in the swamps around the Maurepas area, Beach Sweeps and much more. (Check the volunteer section of their website for more information.) Voting for candidates who support the coast helps tremendously as well.
Even though restoration efforts are a complicated issue, as Maloz explains, it’s important for more people in Louisiana to get involved. “It will take all of us here in coastal Louisiana to change our future for the better,” said Maloz.
To volunteer: mississippiriverdelta.org/get-involved/volunteer