America’s WETLAND Foundation is a non-partisan non-profit organization that has acted as a neutral arbiter for Louisiana’s coastal interests since its inception in 2002, elevating issues facing the Gulf Coast, specifically those of coastal land loss, to regional, national and international attention.
America’s Energy Coast (AEC) is an initiative of the America’s WETLAND Foundation. AEC is a diverse group of major businesses and industries, national environmental and conservation organizations, scientists and researchers, and coastal interests from across the four energy-producing states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama – collectively known as America’s Energy Coast
The coalition’s mission is to provide a balanced forum to work together toward the development of comprehensive solutions to sustain this vital economic region and the environment on which it depends. Working by consensus, America’s Energy Coast has issued a series of white papers, reports and resolutions including the latest - Region at Risk: Preventing the Loss of Vital National Assets, - a definitive report calling on Congress and the Obama administration to resolve the maze of bureaucratic roadblocks that threaten the long-term sustainability of region.
The best science, engineering and planning point to a host of solutions, but the long-term survival and success of this region is ultimately tied to large-scale Federal recognition and support. Time is not a friend of the region. Urgent actions must be taken to protect it or there is little doubt that the assets as we have known them will be lost.
Through leadership forums and outreach projects the coalition informs decision makers and the general public how responsible and sustainable energy development is attainable and consistent with conservation and environment stewardship.
America's Laboratory for Sustainability
America's Energy Coast is at the epicenter of solving crucial issues facing this nation: continued and future exploration and production of fossil fuels new and alternative energy sources vulnerable coastal communities and the workforce needed to support energy activities, national navigation needs, decaying and inadequate infrastructure, and imperiled coastal ecosystems.
Demonstration projects and best practices are being designed in cooperation with NGO, industry and governmental leaders from the four energy-producing states that can serve as a model for coastal sustainability in regions around the world. Working together, the AEC sees safer, stronger and smarter coastal communities and a region working to build awareness and actions to ensure a sustainable future that is essential to economic, social and environmental interests.
The growing national conversation on energy security makes no sense without the experienced voices from the region now responsible for supplying the U.S. with its domestic offshore energy supply. How the country addresses issues of energy and environmental sustainability in this region will help set the course for future decisions on addressing our domestic energy supply
Preventing the Loss of Vital National Assets
Ongoing coastal erosion and the rapid deterioration of shoreline, barrier islands and wetlands across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama pose an immediate risk to millions of people, marine and animal species and significant economic interests.
In environmental terms, a vast estuary is at stake. In economic terms, billions of dollars worth of property and infrastructure are vulnerable.
At risk is an engine that fuels, feeds and supports the American economy. This is the nation’s energy corridor that provides 90% of the domestic offshore oil and gas supply and is tied to 50% of the nation’s refining capacity. Navigation facilities along the Mississippi River serves one of the largest port systems in the world, supplying the bulk of the nation’s inland waterborne commerce. The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is threatened as wetlands that once surrounded the east/west canal erode, creating hazards for marine transportation. And, with the rising tide and episodic storm events, comes the interruption of commerce serving 31 states of the Mississippi River Basin.
This area is home to important endangered and threatened species and the two largest North American flyways for migratory waterfowl and songbirds. The most productive fisheries outside Alaska are here, where vital estuaries serve as nursery ground for 90% of marine species in the Gulf of Mexico and where a third of the fish caught in the lower 48 states are landed. Unbridled erosion of land exacerbates the largest continuous loss of wetlands on the planet, destroying habitat and all that the land and estuaries produce.
The region's national importance was driven home by the pocketbook lessons of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. Gasoline, grain and seafood prices spiked. The price the nation will be asked to pay is small compared to the cost of losing this area, which is eminent without immediate policy and practice to protect this region.
The AEC Industry Council and a growing coalition of over 150 federal, state and local officials from the four states - who make up the AEC Honorary Leadership Council - support the work of the AEC along with the AEC Task Forces.
Along with many other civic groups, communities, governmental and non-governmental organizations, industry, business, conservation, academic and environmental organizations, those participating are committed to a balanced dialogue and common solutions to ensure energy and environmental sustainability.
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