Restoring Louisiana’s coast protects people and wildlife
Louisiana’s coastal wetlands are being lost at the alarming rate of approximately one football field every hour. Levees on the Mississippi River starve wetlands of sediment, oil and gas canals allow saltwater intrusion, and sea level rise threatens to inundate everything. While the challenges are immense, Louisiana also boasts the largest plan in U.S. history to rebuild and restore our coast, and the time to act is now.
The Greater New Orleans Foundation envisions and works towards a thriving 13-parish Southeast Louisiana region that is deeply informed about the issues and risks facing communities due to coastal land loss and sea level rise. This knowledge will enable those most impacted by coastal land loss to effectively engage with and support coastal restoration, protection, and adaptation efforts. Community members can also make informed decisions regarding actions they need to take based on the risks faced. The Foundation also works to support a state government that prioritizes coastal restoration, protection, and adaptation efforts while ensuring equitable engagement with and support for thriving coastal communities.
SELA VOICE Project
Southeast Louisiana Voice of Impacted Communities and Environments (SELA VOICE) is a coalition of community-based and environmental organizations convened by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, which is working with the most vulnerable coastal communities in Southeast Louisiana to provide a collective voice on coastal issues that impact their lives.
As independent organizations, the members of VOICE are well versed in their specific communities’ concerns, knowledge, and strengths. This coalition brings members’ expertise together to address issues of coastal restoration, protection, and adaptation. VOICE works with regional stakeholders to identify and address the future health of the coast’s people, ecosystems, and industries. The coalition envisions coastal communities that are actively engaged in decisions on coastal issues that impact their lives and achieve equitable and effective solutions that strengthen their communities. To do this, SELA VOICE focuses on:
- Listening to community voices and, based on these voices, identifying solutions and insights for collective advocacy on a local, state, and federal level
- Ensuring that residents and government decisionmakers have data and knowledge about pressing coastal issues, their impact on communities, and tools to facilitate adaptation and resilience.
- Coordinating and collaborating across diverse communities and organizations to achieve greater community resilience.
SELA VOICE Coalition Members include Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, Coastal Communities Consulting, Greater New Orleans Foundation, Healthy Gulf (formerly Gulf Restoration Network), Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, Mary Queen of Vietnam CDC, Restore or Retreat, South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center, and United Houma Nation.