America’s Wetland Foundation has received a $200,000 grant from Entergy Corporation to help the group build public support for policies that protect the Gulf Coast region from a changing environment.
The $200,000 grant brings to $450,000 the amount Entergy has donated to America’s Wetland Foundation within the past year as the group works to raise awareness of the need to make the Gulf Coast more resilient to changing environmental conditions, including rising sea levels and stronger storms.
The foundation and its America’s Energy Coast initiative are currently holding a series of community forums across the Gulf Coast to build public support for policies and projects to make the coast more resilient by considering long term strategies for adaptation to the changing environment including coastal land loss at one of the highest rates on the planet.
The forums cover the results of a study, commissioned by Entergy in 2010, that showed environmental changes could cost coastal communities up to $350 billion in losses over the next 20 years if steps aren’t taken to make the Gulf Coast more resilient.
The study, “Building a Resilient Energy Gulf Coast,” found that economic losses could increase up to 65 percent by 2030 due to economic growth, subsidence and rising sea levels. The study recommends a range of adaptation measures that can prevent a large part of the expected increase in losses.
The study focused on the four energy-producing states along the Gulf Coast (Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas).
“We need to start taking action to protect the Gulf Coast against the changing environment. This no longer is a question of if, it is a question of when, and the answer is now,” said Mark Savoff, Entergy’s chief operating officer and executive vice president.
AWF managing director Val Marmillion said Entergy’s support “has allowed us to amass data that will help local decision-makers adapt to environmental changes that make coastal communities vulnerable to the rising tide and extreme weather events.”
Funding for the grant came through Entergy’s Environmental Initiatives Fund. A $250,000 grant to AWF was announced in November 2011.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 15,000 employees.
Entergy’s online address is entergy.com
America’s WETLAND Foundation’s online address is www.americaswetland.com
The America’s WETLAND Foundation manages the largest, most comprehensive public education campaign in Louisiana’s history, raising public awareness of the impact of Louisiana’s wetland loss on the state, nation and world. The America’s Energy Coast initiative works to sustain the environmental and economic assets of the Gulf Coast region. The initiative is supported by a growing coalition of world, national and state conservation and environmental organizations and has drawn private support from businesses that see wetlands protection as a key to economic growth. For more information, please visit www.futureofthegulfcoast.org orwww.americaswetland.com.