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Advertising campaign raises awareness about coastal restoration work



America’s Wetland Foundation launched a new advertising campaign this week to help raise awareness about partnerships working toward coastal restoration in Louisiana.

The campaign is the result of a statewide poll released earlier this year showing that people in the state think coastal restoration will take a united effort not only from government, but from nonprofits and businesses as well.

“One of the main things that people came back with is this demand that everyone needs to be working together,” said Sidney Coffee, senior advisor with the America’s Wetland Foundation.

Although poll respondents thought government, nonprofits and private business are doing something toward coastal restoration, they didn’t know what was being done or in what areas of the state, Coffee said.

As a result, the foundation decided to produce a series of ads, including billboard and television, to help highlight some of that work.

The first ad in the new effort focuses on the Rainey Conservation Alliance — an organization that for more than a hundred years has been a collaboration between two Louisiana families, the McIllhennys and the Raineys — started working with the National Audubon Society.

Today, the alliance represents more than 170,000 acres of marsh and other habitats in Vermilion Parish.

“It’s just a remarkable partnership that’s done great stuff,” Coffee said.

There will be about six commercials in total, each focusing on a different partnership with accompanying details of the work to be made available on the foundation’s website.

“What we’re asking people to do is join the home team,” Coffee said.

The advertising campaign is not only meant to educate, but also to highlight the need for even more partnerships between government, businesses and individuals to move coastal restoration forward to its full potential.

The state’s master plan for coastal restoration and protection is a good plan, Coffee said, but the chances of it being fully funded aren’t good. Getting the entire plan put into action will take the kind of partnerships that have already been working along different areas of the coast.

“Government is going to be limited in what it can do,” Coffee said. “It’s about teamwork. It takes all of us.”