Hundreds of waterfowl and conservation enthusiasts gathered at the World War II Museum on Dec. 8 for an Evening of Conservation celebration, highlighting conservation efforts along the Louisiana Gulf Coast.
The event featured a private showing of the Wings Over Water film, highlighting critical habitat work being done from the prairie pothole region to the gulf coast. The film raises awareness of an area whose preservation is critical to waterfowl breeding.
“Events like this help shed light on Ducks Unlimited's extensive conservation work,” said Christian “Christy” Brown, Managing Director, NOLA Holdings, LLC and event chairman. “The Wings Over Water film was produced by a dear friend of mine, Charlie Potter, whose work in conservation is inspirational.”
Louisiana’s coastal wetlands are critical natural resources and the economic driver of the region. Coastal wetlands protect infrastructure and communities from storms, support industries, including the oil and gas industry and commercial fisheries, sustain Louisiana’s unique culture, and provide nursery grounds for fish and shellfish. This coastal area also provides critical habitat for millions of waterfowl and other migratory birds. Yet, it has the highest coastal wetland loss rate of any state in the U.S., losing nearly 17 square miles annually.
DU and conservation partners are working to reverse this land loss through aggressive conservation and restoration efforts. “One thing Louisiana has done very well is creating a master plan for sustaining our coastline. This comprehensive document is based on science and engineering and lays out various works to help sustain our coast. Some of the projects are massive, and some are small,” Brown said. “Over the years, DU has shown that they will be an important player in our mission to save our coast. Their past effective work with private landowners doing the smaller, critical projects will be an important element under the state’s master plan to make our coast sustainable.”
Hosts of the event included Christy Brown, Bryan Jordan, Jeff Parker, Cleland Powell, James Reiss and Rod Rodriguez. Bryan Jordan, president and chief executive officer of First Horizon Corporation, talked to eventgoers about the importance of conservation efforts along the coast and the impacts on waterfowl migration, which is a focus of the Wings Over Water film. First Horizon Foundation is a major sponsor on the film, committing one million dollars for the project overall.
The Louisiana First Horizon Foundation committed $100,000 as match that event hosts above raised, bringing the total raised for the event to $200,000.