Bayou St. John & Boiled Crawfish: Meet Our Outreach Coordinator
WELCOME TO OUR STAFF Q&A SERIES WHERE YOU CAN MEET THE PEOPLE BEHIND RESTORE THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER DELTA! TODAY WE'RE CHATTING WITH Matt Phillips, outreach coordinator with the national wildlife federation AND RESTORE THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER DELTA.
CLICK HERE TO MEeT MORE OF OUR TEAM.
Hi, Matt! Tell us a little about what you do with Restore the Mississippi River Delta?
I’m the coordinator for Restore the Mississippi River Delta's outreach program, which means I make sure all members of our outreach team have what they need to be successful in their work. I’m often working behind the scenes, scheduling outreach activities, planning meetings, and coordinating the disparate aspects of our outreach work. I also lead our outreach to local universities, engaging students and faculty in coastal land loss and restoration issues.
How did you become interested in working in coastal restoration?
I’ve been interested in climate change and environmental issues for a long time, particularly in landscape conservation and ecosystem restoration. When I learned about the challenges Louisiana is facing, and the opportunities we have to restore one of the country’s most ecologically and culturally unique areas, I knew I wanted to work in this field. Coastal land loss and climate change are serious threats, and I was interested in how people, communities, and local governments were responding to these challenges. I’m really glad to be working in a field that is advancing science and policy to serve the public good.
What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?
I was glad to be out in the field giving presentations and educating the public about the 2017 Coastal Master Plan. Coastal restoration can be really difficult to understand: there are a lot of moving pieces and so many different agencies and groups working in different parts of the field. Education and awareness-raising are critical to effective public engagement, and showing folks what is going on in their state, and how we’re responding to land loss, felt important.
I’m a sucker for boiled crawfish.
What is your favorite place in Louisiana or along the Mississippi River?
Bayou St. John in New Orleans is one of my favorite places in the world.