Water Management Industry Eclipses Oil & Gas as Jobs Leader in SE Louisiana, 2nd Across Coastal Zone

02.24.2016 | In Press Releases



Elizabeth Van Cleve, Environmental Defense Fund, 202.553.2543, evancleve@edf.org
Emily Guidry Schatzel, National Wildlife Federation, 225.253.9781, schatzele@nwf.org
Jacques Hebert, National Audubon Society, 504.264.6849, jhebert@audubon.org
Jimmy Frederick, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, 225.317.2046, jimmy.frederick@crcl.org
John Lopez, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, 504.421.7348, jlopez@saveourlake.org

Water Management Industry Eclipses Oil and Gas as Jobs Leader in Southeast Louisiana, Second Across Entire Coastal Zone

Rapidly growing industry brings high-paying jobs, helps grow Louisiana economy

(NEW ORLEANS – February 25, 2016) The water management sector represents the largest economic driver in southeast Louisiana and the second largest in southwest Louisiana, according to new analysis released today by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition. Economic drivers, such as water management, oil and gas, maritime, petrochemical, video production, and hospitality and tourism, are industries that drive regional growth and are indicators of economic development. With nearly 44,000 jobs, water management is the second largest industry driver across the entire Louisiana Coastal Zone – second only to oil and gas. In southeast Louisiana, the water management industry has eclipsed the oil and gas, maritime and hospitality industries as the leading jobs creator.

The water management industry is growing faster than any other major sector within Louisiana’s Coastal Zone and has the highest average wage among driver industries – $69,277 per year. And while other industries have been losing jobs, water management – which includes coastal restoration, coastal protection and urban water management – has added more than 5,700 jobs in southeast Louisiana since 2010 and provides significant opportunities for Louisiana workers.

Also today, Greater New Orleans, Inc. released its State of the Sector report on the water management industry. This analysis focuses on specifics of current and future water management workforce/job opportunities over the next ten years in the Greater New Orleans region. The report includes detailed information on current workforce demographics, projected top middle and high skill occupations, and sample career ladders. The report also provides insights into the factors driving growth and determining the current and future water management workforce needs in southeast Louisiana. See more at http://gnoinc.org/stateofthesector.

“As our state works to address its budget challenges, it is important to remember that investing in coastal restoration will create jobs and grow the economy, in addition to protecting existing businesses and communities,” said David Muth, National Wildlife Federation’s Gulf Restoration Director, representing the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition. “Investments made today in water management will more than pay off in the long run as our region becomes an economic hub for coastal restoration and climate resiliency, while also helping to protect the people, industries and wildlife that call coastal Louisiana home.”

With the influx of funds from the Gulf oil disaster and other federal sources, the water management sector is poised to continue to grow, fueling the economy of coastal Louisiana and the entire state. In addition to creating well-paying jobs in state, this sector has the potential to be a major export industry for our region, like that of technology for Silicon Valley. Coastal restoration and resiliency expertise gained in Louisiana can be exported to other coastal regions around the world facing similar threats from land subsidence and sea level rise.

“This data confirms that water management is the fastest growing sector in Louisiana. If we make the right decisions and protect coastal funding in the years ahead, we have a golden opportunity to set our region on a course of greater economic prosperity and improved environmental health for generations to come,” said Muth.

The analysis was produced by the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, which includes Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. The full analysis can be found on our website here.

Learn why coastal restoration is urgently needed to protect and grow businesses in Louisiana and across the Gulf. Visit OurCoastOurEconomy.org.


The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition is working to protect people, wildlife and jobs by reconnecting the river with its wetlands. As our region faces the crisis of threatening land loss, we offer science-based solutions through a comprehensive approach to restoration. Composed of conservation, policy, science and outreach experts from Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, we are located in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; and around the United States. Learn more at MississippiRiverDelta.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.