Scientists, policy leaders gather in New Orleans for Gulf Coast's future

International scientists and policy leaders "Envisioning the Future of Gulf Coast" call for national commitment to save Gulf Coast and scenarios for restoring America's wetlands, at BP-America's WETLAND sponsored policy symposium to be held April 24-28 in New Orleans...

BATON ROUGE, LA, April 21, 2006 -- International scientists and policy makers will gather in New Orleans, Louisiana to discuss the future of the Gulf Coast. Scientists will tour the state's coastal wetlands and meet to develop a series of plans for rebuilding Louisiana's coast that will be based on experiences from around the globe. Policy makers will issue a "Call to Action" challenging the nation to make coastal protection and restoration a national priority.

"Envisioning the Future of the Gulf Coast" is sponsored by BP in cooperation with the America's WETLAND Foundation.

Among speakers expected are:
• Fred Krupp, Executive Director, Environmental Defense
• Dale Hall, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
• Jorg Imberger, Director at the Centre for Water Research and Vice-Chancellor's, Distinguished Fellow at the University of Western Australia.
• Ross Pillari, President and CEO, BP America
• Diane Regas, Director, Office of Oceans Wetlands and Watersheds, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The event, taking place April 24-28, is scheduled for New Orleans and surrounding areas (tour of America's WETLAND). The policy symposium will be at the New Orleans Marriott, 555 Canal St.

The sponsors rationale for hosting the event is that while the Gulf Coast continues to recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and with the 2006 hurricane season looming, it's clear that the region's future has been forever changed.

In an effort to help the Gulf Coast rebuild better and smarter, renowned scientists from around the globe will visit Louisiana, tour the still devastated coast and recommend specific scenarios for restoring coastal wetlands. Accordingly, policy makers will issue a "Call to Action" challenging the nation to make coastal restoration a top priority.

Envisioning the Future of the Gulf Coast: Using Engineering and Science to Protect Communities, the Economy, and the Ecosystem - A Symposium for Action is sponsored by BP in cooperation with the America's WETLAND Foundation. For more information on the symposium, please visit, www.futureofthegulfcoast.org or amerciaswetland.com.

Also see: "Powell, FEMA release New Orleans advisory flood data: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers revises cost estimates for levees"

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