DELTAS2010: World Delta Dialogues Focuses on Mississippi River Delta Restoration

By Karen Gautreaux, The Nature Conservancy

The inaugural DELTAS2010: World Delta Dialogues conference, held on October 17-21 in New Orleans, brought together approximately 450 participants from 15 countries to address the complex issues facing the world’s deltas.  Representatives included government agencies, coastal scientists, environmental non-profits, and numerous stakeholder interests, such as energy, navigation and coastal community groups.

The purpose of the conference was to foster cooperation among government and interest groups regarding the world’s deltas and to share information that will contribute to the sustainability of deltas worldwide.  While the conference focused on global delta issues, much of the discussion centered on the Mississippi River Delta.

The themes that emerged were no surprise: We need to move with urgency to restore Louisiana’s coast, we know enough to make significant progress a reality, this effort must be supported locally and nationally, and we must recognize and take action to address those people who will be impacted by the changes in our coast.

DELTAS2010 was designed to be the first step in a continuing conversation with partners around the world.  Conference hosts included America’s WETLAND FoundationThe Royal Netherlands EmbassyThe Nature Conservancy, and The Greater New Orleans Foundation. Conference organizers anticipate that the second World Delta Dialogues – DELTAS2012 – will be held in Vietnam.