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The conference plans to expedite restoration across some of the world’s most productive ecosystems. (Photo: Louisiana Seafood Board Newsroom)

World conference discussing Mississippi Delta region to be held

Click on the flag for more information about United States UNITED STATES
Thursday, October 14, 2010, 03:30 (GMT + 9)

A month after the BP well that spewed millions of barrels of oil into the waters and wetlands of the Gulf of Mexico was officially killed, a significant world conference is to be held in New Orleans that focuses on the importance of the Mississippi Delta region.

The international forum is called DELTAS2010, and among the major participants are the Netherlands and America’s Wetland Foundation (AWF). DELTAS2010 is bringing together restoration leaders and scientists from 17 countries representing the seven major deltas of the world.

“The Netherlands and Louisiana have a 110-year-old history of collaboration on the issue of water management and land protection," said Jones-Bos, the Dutch ambassador to the U.S.

“It is very clear that recovery of the oil spill must go beyond responding to the spill, it must address restoration of the whole system – from rivers to oyster reefs, seagrass beds to marshes,” says Karen Gautreaux of The Nature Conservency, another participating organization.

R. King Milling, Chairman, America's Wetlands Foundation. (Photo: Louisiana Seafood Board Newsroom)

The conference timing is most relevant to discuss strategies for community resiliency in the continuing chaos and confusion of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, where the loss of vital wetlands has demonstrated the vulnerability of the region and its residents to natural and manmade events.

“The Mississippi Delta is a working coast,” says R. King Milling, AWF Chairman. “In the working deltas of the world we have provided the infrastructure and resources for great economies and progress, but the key question is, at what price?”

A banker by trade, Milling believes that investing the money now to preserve wetlands and reestablish coastline is a needed investment in the future of the Mississippi Delta and the industries that depend on it.

“Everybody is going to be inconvenienced, everybody is going to be impacted. The alternative for not doing it is that we lose it all,” says Milling – the fishing and oyster grounds, towns and communities, navigational routes, and a significant amount of infrastructure that is used to deliver oil and gas to the rest of this country.

“This is something that impacts not just us in southern Louisiana, but the entire nation”, says Milling. “Hard decisions are at the table, but they have to be made.”

The DELTAS2010 conference plans to expedite restoration across some of the world’s most productive ecosystems; Ecosystems like the Mississippi Delta and the Gulf of Mexico where restoration is the next step to recovery from the BP oil spill.

Source: Louisiana Seafood Board Newsroom 

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