AWF Applauds New Private Investment in Coastal Restoration
April 26, 2018
The America’s WETLAND Foundation (AWF) commends Resource Environmental Solutions (RES) and its partnership with a multinational private equity firm making a significant investment in the company to support its next phase of development, furthering private participation in coastal restoration in Louisiana.
Elliott Bouillion, RES president and CEO and a leader in Louisiana in ecological habitat restoration, offered expert testimony at AWF’s Adaptation for Gulf Coast Resiliency and Sustainability forum that was held in 2015 at Tabasco headquarters on Avery Island. The forum brought together investment bankers with federal and state agencies, private landowners, representatives of business and industry, universities, and NGOs to explore options for private/public financing of large scale and transitional coastal restoration projects in the Gulf region. The America’s WETLAND Foundation also tapped RES to supply the plants for the Foundation’s shoreline restoration projects along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
“We were pleased to work with the America’s WETLAND Foundation and were honored when AWF asked RES to provide the plants and landscape-scale ecological restoration solutions for their project. We look forward to partnering with AWF during the Phase 2 of the project,” Bouillion said.
The first phase of the shoreline restoration project was completed in December 2015, building one mile of embankment and installing and planting Vegetated EcoShield™ to create a vital feeding, nesting, and roosting habitat for shorebirds, migratory birds and waterfowl. The stabilized berm is now providing ecosystem services of healthy and productive natural environment and is providing protection from storm surge for the community of Larose.
To demonstrate the need for efficient reinforcement of shorelines, the project was completed in less that four months and at a fraction of the cost of traditional rock embankments, demonstrating time and cost efficiencies, proving a model of public/private cooperation that can be replicated and applied to compromised junctures of the GIWW.
The project was supported with private funding through the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, CITGO, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Community Coffee, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the State of Louisiana, the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association and private landowners.
“RES and the leadership of Elliott Bouillion exemplifies the standards needed for attracting private investment in coastal restoration in Louisiana. Private dollars are critical in pushing large scale efforts forward and in completing transitional projects that can hold the line against saltwater intrusion until larger efforts can be implemented,” Val Marmillion, executive director of AWF, said.