New Orleans CEER 2014 Conference

Click through photos above to see how Louisiana is 'restoring' coastal marsh. Thoughts?

New Orleans greeted me with a quick blast of the thickest air I have ever breathed!  I am here for a week to participate in the Conference on Ecological and Ecosystem Restoration where I will be speaking about my recent work in seagrass restoration and disease studies.  There are many wonderful scholars here that have shared valuable information about coastal policy, processes and methods for restoration.  I am deeply struck by the fact that no other presenters are speaking on either seagrass or disease.  This fact comes like a quick blow (much like the air in the City).  I see just how far of an uphill battle I have waged to bring information about the critical need for seagrass and disease research in restoration science and practice.   Further, I see through participation in this conference how far ahead in many ways Australia is in the science of restoration as a whole.  I feel very lucky to be able to work with the good researchers in Australia who understand the threats facing our global seagrass meadows and the vital and critical role seagrasses play in stabilizing our coasts and effectively creating more resilient seagrass ecosystems, which in turn supply habitat for valuable fisheries and whose beds store more carbon per area that even the dense rain forests of south America. Louisiana is truly a leader and pioneer of coastal restoration in their efforts to maintain resilience in the face of the devastating disturbances brought by hurricanes Rita and Katrina. There is no better place for me to be to meet other coastal restoration scientists and practitioners here in the US. But really, is it enough??