The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana was proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 Coastal Stewardship Awards.
CRCL’s Coastal Stewardship Awards honored individuals and organizations who demonstrated outstanding commitment to the coast and made significant contributions to the restoration and conservation of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.
CRCL honored these coastal champions at the 22nd Annual Stewardship Awards Banquet on Friday, April 7, 2017 at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center.
We were also honored to have recently appointed New Orleans District Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Colonel Michael N. Clancy as the keynote speaker.
Rob Gorman - Gorman is a founder of CRCL and served as its first Chair. He remains an active board member. He is a founder of the Tri-City Interfaith Stewardship Initiative, the past Chair of the Louisiana Interchurch Conference (LIC) Commission on the Stewardship of the Environment and the current Chair of the LIC Public Policy Task Force. He served on the National Advisory Committee for the United States Catholic Conference Environmental Justice Program and has worked since its formation with the National Religious Partnership for the Environment. He has been active in assisting communities in Grand Bois, Gibson and Morgan City in opposing toxic and hazardous waste operations. He is the founder of Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing (BISCO), a congregation based community organization working on coastal issues, and a founder of TRAC, the longest continuously operating community-based disaster recovery non-profit in the United States. Gorman is the executive director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux (Louisiana) where he has worked since 1982.
Marnie Winter - Winter began working for the Jefferson Parish Environmental Department in 1982, holding several positions in the department before being appointed Department Director in 1990. She served in that position for 26 years, and will continues to serve as the department’s assistant director until her planned retirement in December 2017. Under her leadership, Jefferson Parish’s Santa Save the Marsh program has increased awareness of coastal erosion by involving Jefferson Parish residents and volunteers from the across the region, recycling over 750,000 Christmas trees by placing them in the marsh to combat erosion. During her 35-year career with Jefferson Parish, Winter has gone above and beyond her job requirements to bring awareness to the coastal crisis in Louisiana.
Ted Joanen – Joanen is a lifelong resident of Cameron Parish, who has had a long and illustrious career as a biologist, researcher and conservationist throughout Southwest Louisiana and the world. He retired from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge where he served as a biologist for more than 30 years. During this time, he was instrumental in sustainable marsh management and conservation of wetlands, leading studies on marsh ecology, wildlife enhancement, waterfowl banding, alligator, brown pelican and white-tail deer research. Joanen has published more than 140 scientific papers, articles and reports.
Simone Maloz – Maloz works daily on the local, state and federal levels to advocate for the needs of the disappearing Louisiana coast, specifically the Barataria and Terrebonne Basins. She has continuously worked on large-scale and long-term projects for the basins such planning for major sediment and freshwater diversions and operation of existing restoration projects such as Davis Pond and Bayou Lafourche. She was appointed by Governor Jindal to serve on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation in the summer of 2014, and is a member and co-chair of the Commission’s Diversion Subcommittee. Maloz is currently the Executive Director of Restore or Retreat.
Edward B. Overton, Ph.D. – Dr. Overton has been tireless in his efforts to apply sound scientific knowledge to help solve some of the most consequential environmental issues facing coastal communities. He is a world-renowned expert in identifying oil from specific spills and determining its fate and transport to the coastal environment. He is a gifted, enthusiastic educator, who has the ability to make technical subject matter interesting and pertinent for students. Dr. Overton is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Environmental Sciences at LSU and is Founder and Chairman of Analytical Specialists, Inc.
Phil R. Precht – Precht has had a 35-year career in land management and wetland conservation throughout Coastal Louisiana. His leadership in collaboration with landowners, local, state and federal agencies and a host of non-governmental organizations has been instrumental in creating vital conservation partnerships, protecting habitat and helping to restore Louisiana’s coast. Precht currently serves as supervisor and land manager for ConocoPhillips Coastal Wetlands. He manages the largest span of privately-owned coastal wetlands along the Gulf Coast—approximately 636,000 acres. Precht has been the guiding force behind numerous shoreline protection projects, freshwater enhancements and marsh creation efforts.
Isabel Grandy – Grandy, a junior at St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge, has grown up learning about Louisiana’s coastal land loss crisis. When presented with an opportunity to help the coast she loves so much, she jumped at the chance. She developed a research project to find an alternate method of preventing coastal erosion and marsh subsidence. Under the guidance of her mentor, Dr. Beth Middleton at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and over nine months, she studied the effects of dredge spoil on sapling trees. Grandy has won numerous awards for her work, including being selected to the Genius Olympiad Competition in Syracuse New York, where she will present her research in June.
Community Coffee--Community Coffee has been a Louisiana institution for 98 years. This family-owned and operated company understands that our culture and way of life revolves around the coast and our coastal wetlands. Over the last few years, Community Coffee has partnered with CRCL to promote coastal restoration in several unique ways, including a first-of-its-kind point of sale promotion. Community Coffee stands as a testament to what can be accomplished when business and non-profits partner to make a difference.
Maya Lahti—Lahti has been volunteering with CRCL’s Habitat Restoration Program for five years. She has participated in 13 events—four of those in this year alone. In her over 100 hours of service to CRCL and our coast, she has planted trees in Braithwaite, Maurapas and Jean Lafitte, planted marsh grass in Lake Hermitage and restored dunes on Elmer’s Island. Lahti has not only personally planted hundreds of plants along our coast, but by being such a regular presence she has helped us build our volunteer community.