Empower the Voice of America’s Energy Coast
The America’s WETLAND Foundation (AWF) serves as a respected Gulf Coast voice for energy and conservation interests dedicated to preserving the economic, environmental, energy and community assets of the region by providing a balanced, innovative forum for consensus building. The nation’s dependency on the Gulf’s natural and economic resources allows AWF to pursue a strategic agenda that builds public support for coastal restoration and shoring up vulnerable landscapes.
AWF and its Gulf Coast resiliency initiatives are supported by a growing coalition of world, national, state and local business, civic, academic and NGO leaders, and have earned the bipartisan support of hundreds of elected and administrative officials who view a secure Gulf region as vital to economic growth. The Foundation’s America’s Energy Coast (AEC) program is led by business leaders who have formed an Industry Council dedicated to harnessing the private sector’s expertise and support to overcome challenges to regional growth and prosperity.
TEXAS: Star of America’s Energy Coast
Gulf Coast shorelines, wetlands and barrier islands and urban communities linked to the coast are becoming increasingly vulnerable to a rising tide and frequent and longer lasting storm events. The Texas coast is one of the nation’s most productive but recent studies indicate a growing concern over degrading and threatened critical infrastructure. In Texas, a series of four Blue Ribbon Resilient Community civic forums brought together leaders from Houston, Galveston and the Bolivar Penninsula, South Padre Island-Brownsville and Port Aransas to determine adaptive measures to keep Coastal Texas strong, viable and productive, knowing that a strong coast was essential for a strong Texas. Experts and citizen leaders agreed that immediate and prominent attention was needed to raise awareness of critical sustainability issues. A call to increase understanding of adaptation measures required to protect the State’s economic and natural resources has led to creation of a broad effort: TEXAS: Star of America’s Energy Coast
Coastal degradation has a direct impact on regional, state, national, and global interests, including economic, ecological, and national security benefits. The United States relies on Texas’ rich coastal resources for its economic well being and losing natural protection zones is estimate to put a financial burden on the state and negatively impact its economy in the near future. A strong coastal ecosystem serves the dual purpose of protecting the state’s largest population centers and income drivers. Addition, hunters, anglers and wildlife conservationists have a founded concern that habit for significant animal and plant species that depend on the region for survival are threatened by coastal degradation. While it is ever important to link the relationship of a sound ecosystem to the future of economic progress, Texans must become more familiar with coastal issues that, if left unattended, could cause serious financial burden, with ripple effects felt by the entire state and beyond.
The Foundation is working with the Texas General Land Office, The Texas Railroad Commission, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to develop a public awareness effort to strengthen and sustain the energy and environmental assets with a message of Strong Coast – Strong Texas.
Themed TEXAS: STAR OF AMERICA’S ENERGY COAST, the campaign will empower local coastal communities, leverage outreach opportunities and utilize print and electronic media strategies that will increase news coverage to educate the public and garner support for sustaining the coastal landscapes, barrier islands, estuaries, waterways and other critical coastal infrastructure. The campaign will engage youth and adults on Texas coastal issues and will be key to developing support for the campaign and funding for long-term restoration activities.
The Campaign will also focus on hands-on coastal restoration through the Foundation’s “Conservation Corps”. The Conservation Corps was created to foster community pride and environmental awareness through volunteerism and education. Since its inception in 2007, more than 9,000 volunteers have contributed more than 75,000 service hours, completing 310 restoration projects. Texans and those in Washington, DC, must agree that sustaining the unique energy and environmental assets found along the Texas coast is a priority. The need for sustained funding to implement coastal priorities during a time when the nation considers changes in energy and environmental policy has never been greater.