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Join us as we come together to pay tribute to the exceptional leaders whose unwavering commitments have been pivotal in protecting Louisiana's coast.

Amid decades of coastal land loss, Louisiana is experiencing significant success in restoration and preservation. CRCL's Coastal Stewardship Awards acknowledge the dedication and achievements of those working tirelessly to safeguard the state's invaluable coastal resources.

The winners will be honored at a public celebration May 9 in Baton Rouge, and we invite you to join us. CRCL's Coastal Stewardship Awards recognize the pivotal roles played by organizational leaders, scientists, educators, community organizers, volunteers and more in this ongoing campaign.

2024 Coastal Stewardship Award Winners

Steve Cochran – Lifetime Achievement Steve is a celebrated advocate for Louisiana's environment, leading transformative initiatives in both governmental and nonprofit sectors for entities including the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund and Restore the Mississippi River Delta. His collaborative approach and mentorship have nurtured emerging leaders, securing a lasting impact on coastal preservation.

Justin Ehrenwerth (posthumous) Justin served as the president and CEO of The Water Institute, where he addressed intricate environmental, economic and social challenges. He embodied the essence of what service to one's state, community and neighbors is all about and made a powerful and positive impact on Louisiana and the entire Gulf Coast.

2023 Coastal Master Plan team – Sue Hawes Award The members of the CPRA team were architects of progress, with an unwavering dedication that culminated in the development of the 2023 Coastal Master Plan, a globally recognized blueprint for sustainable coastal management and resilience. Stuart Brown and Krista Jankowski will accept the award on behalf of the team.

Blaise Pezold Blaise, who leads the coastal and environmental program at the Meraux Foundation, is a dedicated leader and advocate for coastal Louisiana, engaging communities and spearheading projects like the Chandeleur Sound Living Shoreline initiative, which involved students in building a living reef. He also champions the use of plants in wetland restoration efforts.

Jacqueline Richard At the helm of Nunez Community College's Coastal Studies program, Jacqueline is shaping the next generation of coastal stewards, instilling a sense of duty towards our fragile ecosystems.

Kenneth Bahlinger – Louisiana Coastal Vegetative Planting Program For three decades, the state's Coastal Vegetative Planting Program has been at the forefront of wetland restoration, planting native species and forging partnerships to preserve Louisiana's natural heritage.

Polly Glover Polly's altruistic efforts, particularly in Cameron and Terrebonne parishes after Hurricanes Laura and Ida, have been invaluable. Through organizing Feed the Fleet events and working with organizations such as Restore or Retreat, she not only provided essential resources but also fostered community support, showcasing her dedication to coastal restoration and community resilience.

Mike Phelan – Friend of CRCL A true friend to coastal restoration, Mike has traveled hundreds of miles to volunteer with CRCL on multiple occasions, and he has also connected Southern Quality Ford dealership staff to CRCL's volunteer events. Mike nominated CRCL for the Ford Bronco Wild Fund, leaving an enduring legacy of stewardship with the organization.

Tom Schrilla – Volunteer of the Year Tom, a graduate of Tulane University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences who is enrolled in the Louisiana Master Naturalist program and works full-time as an emergency manager for the city of New Orleans, has volunteered for CRCL for nearly a decade, becoming one of the organization's most active and experienced volunteers.

Darria Leggett – Emerging Steward Darria represents the next generation of coastal stewards, her passion and promise serving as a beacon of hope for the future of Louisiana's coast.

Join us as we celebrate their achievements and reaffirm our commitment to safeguarding Louisiana's coastal heritage for generations to come.


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