Ducks Unlimited was an Exclusive Sponsor at the 2018 State of the Coast Conference (SOC) in New Orleans in May. The SOC Conference provides an interdisciplinary forum to exchange information on the dynamic conditions of Louisiana’s coastal communities, environment and economy. Though the conference focuses heavily on Louisiana’s rapidly disappearing coast, it is designed to help scientists, landowners, managers, federal and state agency personnel, local officials, industry and business leaders, resource users and interested citizens across the country exchange timely and relevant information on coastal communities, environments and economies and apply that information to coastal restoration and protection efforts and policies.
The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL), The Water Institute of the Gulf and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA) produce this forum, the need for which grows with every acre of land lost to the Gulf. Guest speakers, leading experts and others gather for two and a half days of presentations, poster sessions and networking opportunities. Held every other year, the SOC brings together more than 1,000 attendees to address coastal wetland loss, conservation and restoration.
Ducks Unlimited staff attends each conference to educate attendees on our coastal restoration efforts across North America, learn the latest in science and technology to advance coastal restoration and to grow our conservation network. This year, due to overlap with the DU National Convention, DU CEO Dale Hall spoke to conference goers via video about the importance of coastal Louisiana for waterfowl and for Ducks Unlimited’s conservation work. DU corporate partner and coastal Louisiana landowner ConocoPhillips provided a video focused on our partnership efforts to restore coastal wetlands.
DU Director of Conservation Programs Mike Carloss introduced both videos and provided a program talk on recent restoration and enhancement projects at Rockefeller Refuge in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries during the session entitled Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge: Management in an Ever-Changing Environment in Southwest Louisiana.
ConocoPhillips Director of Coastal Wetlands in Louisiana Phil Precht also spoke, giving a review of wetlands management strategies during the session entitled The Cooperative Engagement of the Oil and Gas Industry in Coastal Sustainability Planning.