Swamp saving: Atchafalaya Basinkeeper presents awards for protecting wetlands at annual meeting

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
Attending the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper annual meeting Feb. 23 are from left, Executive Director for the LA Environmental Action Network Marylee Orr, LA Environmental Action Network's Michael Orr, Atchafalaya Basinkeeper's Cara Leverett, Atchafalaya Basinkeeper's Dean Wilson, SouthWings' Meredith Dowling and Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper Paul Orr.

PLAQUEMINE - The Tulane Environmental Law Clinic and SouthWings earned honors for their work protecting Louisiana’s wetlands and the Atchafalaya Basin during Atchafalaya Basinkeeper’s annual meeting Feb. 23.  

The Tulane Environmental Law Clinic received the second-ever Super Swamper Award from Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, Louisiana Environmental Action Network and the Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association-West

The award was engraved, “Super Swamper Award. To the attorneys and students of the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic with tremendous gratitude for putting up a herculean fight to save what is left of Louisiana’s wetlands and the Atchafalaya Basin. You are Super Swampers and you are our heroes.” 

The clinic has provided years of pro-bono legal assistance helping to protect the environmental health of the basin and continues to ABK, LCPA-West and LEAN.

The award was presented to Adam Babich and Geri Davis of Tulane.

ABK, LCPA-West and LEAN regularly collaborate to stop illegal wetland development and protect the public’s right to use navigable waters of the U.S. 

Southwings’ was presented the Atchafalaya Angel Award, which was etched, “With eternal gratitude to SouthWings and all the volunteer pilots that are flying to protect Louisiana’s wetlands, the Mississippi River and the Atchafalaya Basin. You are our heroes and you are God’s Angels.” 

SouthWings and its volunteer pilots have provided hundreds of monitoring flights free-of-charge to both organizations.  These flights play a critical role in the strategy that ABK and LMRK employ to protect Louisiana’s wetlands, the Mississippi River, and the Atchafalaya Basin. 

Meredith Dowling attended the meeting on behalf of SouthWings.

A total of 55 people attended the annual meeting including St. Martin Parish President Guy Cormier, Henderson Mayor Sherbin Colette, LCPA-West Board president Mike Bienvenu, ABK board member Greg Guirard and Sissy Irwin on behalf of Iberville Parish President Mitchell Ourso. 

A number of fishing families were also in attendance from both the east and west sides of the basin.

Atchafalaya Basinkeeper is a member organization of the Waterkeeper Alliance. Since its creation in 2004, the organization has worked to stop unsustainable cypress logging for mulch in coastal Louisiana, prevented new canals from being dredged in the Atchafalaya Basin and blocked damaging projects by agencies as well as countless instances of illegal wetland destruction.

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