New Senate chairman visits Louisiana to see coastal concerns

The new chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources visited the state of Louisiana to learn more about coastal restoration issues.

Sen. Ron Wyden (OR) spent two days meeting with state officials and organizations including Ducks Unlimited in October at the invitation of Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA). Landrieu sits on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee with Wyden.

“[Sen. Wyden] is one of the most important people who decide on federal policies that affect this area,” Landrieu said. 

Landrieu brought Wyden on tours to show him area wetlands and the effects of coastal erosion. It is estimated that Louisiana loses an area of wetlands the size of a football field every hour, which destroys waterfowl habitat and threatens the fishing and shrimping industries that depend on the Gulf Coast. 

“Senator Landrieu has again made sure Louisiana’s coast and wetlands are a priority in Congress by ensuring top decision-makers like the incoming Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairman are familiar with the threats, as well as the restoration efforts, that are happening,” DU Director of Public Policy Bart James said.

Louisiana marshes provide critical wintering and migration habitat for waterfowl and DU recognizes the area as a level-1 priority region.
 “I've seen a lot back here that I'm going to take back to Washington," Wyden said. "This just proves that the federal government can't have a one-size-fits-all policy.”

“Senator Landrieu and Senator Wyden emphasized how important it is for groups like DU to use our networks to educate people about the value of coastal Louisiana,” DU Coastal Restoration Coordinator Leslie Suazo, who met with Wyden and Landrieu during the visit, said. “That shows how important our members are when it comes to shaping public policy.”

DU members can stay up-to-date on public policy news by visiting www.ducks.org/publicpolicy