Adapting to Climate Change along Louisiana’s Gulf Coast: A Case Study with the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribal (PACIT) Community

This webinar includes a captivating presentation and discussion about how the PACIT, a commercial fishing community, is addressing climate change through resiliency measures. The PACIT is one of the oldest inhabited places in the United States located in southeastern Louisiana. Impacts of climate change and shifts in the commercial fishing industry have strained the community and the surrounding natural environment. The Tribe has been working with Louisiana Sea Grant for several years to build community resilience in the face of natural hazards and determine strategies for adapting to climate change.

Webinar presenters include:

Cherie Matherne, Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe
Dr. Matthew Bethel, Louisiana Sea Grant
Haley Gambill, Louisiana Sea Grant

To learn more about this ongoing effort that, check out the resources linked below:

May 2024 – Mapping Climate Change Impacts and Traditional Ecological Knowledge for Potential Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies – StoryMap

NWWN 2024 Intern Research Showcase – 5/30/2024

This webinar included presentations from National Working Waterfront Network interns of their research on increasing the resilience of commercial fishing communities. Learn about their exciting research involving direct collaboration with members of the commercial fishing industry. Specific projects included:

Identifying Gaps in Policies for Working Waterfront to Support Commercial Fishing Communities in Georgia

Hurricane Disaster Relief for Commercial Fishing Communities in Florida

Seafood Hubs: Supporting Local Seafood System Resilience, Case Study Oregon Coast

Commercial Fishing and Public Engagement at the Working Waterfront – 9/19/23

The National Working Waterfront Network (NWWN) is hosting a webinar with panel speakers from the coasts of southern California, Louisiana, and Maine for a presentation and discussion on how commercial fishing communities are engaging with the public along working waterfronts through direct sales at the dock, an interactive guide connecting the public to fresh seafood, and more.

This webinar highlighted how guest panelists began their efforts with varying public engagement initiatives at the waterfront and with commercial fishers. Listen to the webinar to learn about the challenges and success of San Diego’s Tuna Harbor Side Market, Maine’s Oyster Trail, and Louisiana’s St. Bernard Seafood Market by clicking on the webinar title above.

Panelist’s include:

  • Pete Halmay, President, San Diego Fishermen’s Working Group
  • Jaclyn Robidoux, Marine Extension Associate, Maine Sea Grant & University of Maine Cooperative Extension
  • Dominique Seibert, Extension Agent, Louisiana Sea Grant

Infrastructure Inventory Assessments as a Tool to Support Resilient Fishing Communities – 11/17/2022

Commercial fishing communities around the country, small and large, face similar issues with their private and public infrastructure. Issues include lack of waterfront access, affordable docks, and proper equipment which leave members of the fishing community wondering; Where can I dock, unload and repair gear? How long will I have access to this slip in the future? Is there adequate parking?  Asking these questions and others is important to understanding the needs of commercial fishing communities around the country; however, obtaining the answers can be difficult as needs change and infrastructure ages.

This webinar highlighted recent and upcoming commercial fishing infrastructure inventories from Maine, Massachusetts, and Louisiana. Panelists shared their expertise for why these assessments are necessary and best practices for conducting inventory research and for developing a template for future inventory assessments. They also touched upon how these inventories can be used to drive investments and to document the impacts of coastal storms.

Please click on the title above to listen to the webinar and/or the links below for a more in-depth look into the inventory work developed by each panelist.

NWWN Webinar Series: Resilience, Ecology, and Access at the Water’s Edge: 05/12/2022

Waterfront Edge Design GuidelinesWEDG® (Waterfront Edge Design Guidelines) is the gold standard for resilient, ecologically-sound, and accessible projects that touch the water’s edge. WEDG is a national rating system that has verified projects that include everything from industrial facilities in the Bronx and mixed-use developments in Brooklyn to public park space in North Carolina. From intricate ecosystems to overlapping jurisdictions and land use policies, working waterfront design is complex, even for the most seasoned planners, practitioners, and communities, and is becoming even more so with the growing risk of coastal flooding due to sea level rise. With help from hundreds of experts in design, science, community development, engineering, and insurance—the Waterfront Alliance developed WEDG, a science-based voluntary rating system and set of guidelines to address these challenges at the project scale. 

In this presentation, the Waterfront Alliance shared an overview of the WEDG standards, discussed its application to working waterfronts, and discussed how city and state agencies can utilize them to influence development on their waterfronts. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are anticipated for AIA and ASLA

Offshore Renewable Energy Learning as We go Webinar Series:

Session 4: Offshore Renewable Energy and Working Waterfronts: The Roles of Research Platforms and Community Engagement: 4/27/2021

Three different marine renewable energy project proponents from across the US share their experiences and how they have progressed to date. Each marine energy initiative has similar stages including design, engagement & outreach, permitting, construction, and operations, and decommissioning. The panelists share their lessons learned from engaging with stakeholders throughout the process in their respective regions. While each project is different, each provides insights for future marine renewable energy projects in the US. We appreciate the open dialogue from our  panelists, including:

  • Dan Hellin of PacWave, is a wave energy test facility off Oregon’s coast. Offer grid connection infrastructure for clients to do testing ex. Oregon State University and DOE. Operational in 2023.
  • Matthew Marshall of Redwood Coast Energy Authority, electricity community choice aggregator in Humboldt County, California 
  • James (Jake) Ward of New England AquaVentas 1, floating wind energy, demonstration research & development, a floating platform in state waters near Monhegan Island in the Gulf of Maine.

NWWN and NOAA webinar on Economic Resources for Working Waterfront Communities: 10/13/2020

National Working Waterfront Network (NWWN) and NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management hosted a webinar on economic resources for working waterfront communities available via the Digital Coast.  The webinar  highlighted publicly-available economic data sets, learning opportunities (including economic trainings and e-learning modules), and case studies that demonstrate how these resources can inform local decision-making.  Recently released marine national economy statistics, which offer the most inclusive national estimates for all ocean, coastal and Great Lakes economic activity by major industry, were also discussed.

Questions, contact kenneth.walker@noaa.gov.


Sustainable Seafood: A Deep Dive into NOAA’s 2023 Strategy: 10/31/2023

In celebration of National Seafood Month!

In this episode of the National Working Waterfront Podcast, host Ashley Bennis delves into the significance of sustainable seafood, a cornerstone of the U.S. economy, facing stiff competition globally. With October being designated as Seafood Month, the episode aims to bring you up to speed on how the U.S. is advocating for sustainable fisheries. Special guests Ashford Rosenberg, from the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders Alliance, and David Aparicio, a Texas Oyster Farmer and Shrimp Fisher, join us to unpack NOAA Fisheries’ groundbreaking 2023 National Seafood Strategy. Discover actionable insights on how you can directly contribute to strengthening local seafood industries. This episode is a must-listen for anyone invested in the future of U.S. seafood, from policy to plate.

Managing Sustainable Fisheries from Wisconsin to Alaska: 08/30/2022

In this episode, host Ashley Bennis continues to explore the Nation’s resilient and sustainable commercial fishing industry. Since fishing communities have such a high dependency on natural resources for their livelihood, this industry is constantly being challenged due to the fluid and ever-changing nature of the environment. A combination of natural, social and economic elements has created labor shortages and put a strain on the industry but has also led to diversification of the types of individuals getting involved and a variety of new programs around the country that encourages youth participation. Two special guests from Alaska and Wisconsin agreed to sit down and offer a rare glimpse into two vastly different regions of the country and the diverse perspectives that contribute to sustaining commercial fisheries for future generations. Paula Cullenberg was the Director of the Alaska Sea Grant College Program until 2018 and is a commercial salmon fisherman in Bristol Bay with her family. Mark Duffy is a Game Warden in Wisconsin and member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.

The Federal Infrastructure Bill and its Impacts on Working Waterfronts: 09/21/2021

At the intersection of land and sea, the state of working waterfronts can provide insight into the health of our economy and natural resources. The infrastructure that supports working waterfront activities has lacked major investment for many decades, leaving it vulnerable to natural and manmade risks. The current administration has proposed a major piece of legislation in the form of a Federal bipartisan infrastructure bill that may provide a boost our country has not seen since the development of the interstate highway system. This episode will focus on the question of how exactly this major legislation will benefit working waterfronts and their uses.

Understanding the Working Waterfronts’ Contribution to the Blue Economy: 05/04/2021

On this show, we explore the Blue Economies of two Atlantic coastal states — Rhode Island and South Carolina.  Our guests are going to guide us through the process their coastal states have undertaken to access valuable information and not only assess the current activities on their coastline, but also plan for the future of the working waterfront. An economist will also introduce us to a new and innovative strategy aimed at valuing non-market features on the waterfront such as wetlands, sand dunes, open space, oyster reefs and other types of mariculture.

Gearing up for Offshore Wind:  01/15/2021

With the accelerated growth of offshore wind in the northeast, states are aggressively investing in upgrading their port infrastructure.  On this episode of Working Waterfronts, Ashley Bennis and an expert panel take on how the northeast ports are moving forward with this development and consider how this enormous investment can be used to develop more sustainable (green) ports and increased coordination amongst states and ports to respond to the entire OWE supply chain.  In addition to US examples, the European experience, especially within the United Kingdom, will be shared to propose strategies and opportunities to appropriately respond to offshore wind development needs while also addressing the needs of the regions’ other blue economy sectors.

Resilient Marinas Make Resilient Working Waterfronts: 10/16/2020

For Marinas all over the country directly exposed to intense  storms, flooding, and land loss, being resilient means being able to reduce damage and resume business. There is a growing trend of stronger storms, accelerated erosion, record floods and longer droughts that create a lot of issues for coastal communities. Marinas are on the fronts lines, but this means that they can be the leaders in the face of a changing climate and rising sea levels. On this show, we are going to hear from three amazing professionals that work with communities. The regions we will be exploring are the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico- two vastly different regions at first glance. But also very similar in the issues they are dealing with and the strategies that are being implemented to combat them. Today, host Ashley Bennis will be sitting down with Sarah Orlando, Clean Marinas Program Manager with Ohio Sea Grant, located off of Lake Erie; Jody Thompson, the Environmental Extension Associate at MS-Al Sea Grant, A multi-state collaboration; and, Rhonda Price, the Deputy Director at the Office of Restoration and Resilience in the MS Department of Marine Resources.

Organizing the Working Waterfront: A Tour of Two Coasts: 07/25/2020

In this inaugural episode, host Ashley Bennis talks with three working waterfront organizers from both the East and West coasts First up, Ashley will be chatting with Roland Lewis. Roland is the President and CEO of Waterfront Alliance in NYC. Under his leadership the Waterfront Alliance has organized a powerful constituency, instituted new programs, helped create a new waterfront plan for the City of NY and helped the Waterfront Alliance become the leading waterfront policy organization in NY. Then, Ashley speaks with John DiRe. John is a Representative from the grass roots grown Sausalito Working Waterfront Coalition. He advocates for the interests of those whose livelihoods are linked to the marinship and its multifaceted evolution. Finally, Ashley chats with Deb Granger, A founding member of the Working Waterfront Coalition of Whatcom County in Washington State, and its current Interim Program Manager, she has spent most her life working on the waterfront and brings many years of experience from the seafood/fishing sector and is currently developing its Scholarship program for students interested in marine industry trades.

Podcast On the Half Shell: Shellfish Growers Face the Pain of Covid-19: 04/22/2020

This week, Peter Ravella and Tyler Buckingham welcome to the show Margaret Pilaro, Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association, and her compatriot and colleague, Bob Rheault, who heads up the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association.  These two friends have been on the frontlines of one of America’s key coastal industries for years and right now their members are being hammered.  The show kicks off with Nicole Faghin, Chair of the National Working Waterfront Network, and we learn about the state of America’s working shorelines, the Network, and we set the table for Margaret and Bob.

It’s an important show about coastal communities and the shellfish growers, most of whom are mom and pop operations with fewer than ten employees.  With the near complete and overnight collapse of the shellfish market, truckloads of oysters and other valuable shellfish have been dumped into landfills.  It’s a tough time but there is a grit to these shellfish folks and there is a lot to this industry.  One of the best interviews we’ve done in awhile.