Panel forms in hopes of saving Louisiana's disappearing coastline

Panel forms in hopes of saving Louisiana's disappearing coastline

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A non-partisan roundtable of national and world leaders, which convened privately at Avery Island last month, was formed by America's Wetland Foundation to brainstorm about restoring vanishing Louisiana.

"For some places, it's already too late," said Sidney Coffee, senior advisor of America's Wetland Foundation.

Coffee mourned the loss of Louisiana towns that were washed away and off the map because of the land sinking and ocean levels rising. However, she said the use of private money is what resonated among the diverse 39-member panel, which seeks solutions to sustain the state's coast.

"There are pools of investment dollars looking for green projects and this is perfect, but we've got to be smart and we've got to be fast," Coffee added.

Louisiana happens to be at the center of America's energy coast. It is the country's petrochemical hub, has the world's largest port system, the Mississippi River runs through it and other important factors, such as fisheries, seafood and ecosystems.

Coffee said she would like to see political red tape cut with the infusion of private money to fast track projects, like the oyster reefs seen in a 'Game On' commercial.

The panel believes the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, the mega channel in eco trouble, could be a good place to start.

"We see that as a line of demarcation, of defense to salt water intrusion. It is the perfect place to work together and do this and it's what the public wants," Coffee explained.

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