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EPA Teams Up with the NFL and Local Communities to Protect Louisiana’s Wetlands

Release Date: 01/31/2013
Contact Information: Jennah Durant or Austin Vela, 214 665-2200 or R6press@epa.gov.

(DALLAS – January 31, 2013) – Every 60 minutes, the Louisiana coastline loses a football-field sized tract of land. As part of the upcoming Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will team up with the National Football League and the New Orleans Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee to bring national attention to this local issue and help revitalize wetlands in Louisiana.

As part of New Orleans Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee’s Super Saturday of Service, the NFL will help area youth hold the line on coastal land loss. In conjunction with World Wetlands Day, participants in the second annual Wetlands Youth Summit will help educate and raise awareness about wetlands issues. The Summit participants will plant 3,000 trees in the Bayou Sauvage Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, February 2. The NFL-sponsored project will help revitalize the area. The event is also sponsored by the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center, Future Leaders of America’s Gulf (F.L.A.G.) and the Youth Advisory Committee of Terrebonne Parrish, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Louisiana State University’s Coastal Sustainability Studio, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service.

"As a daughter of New Orleans, I am thrilled to see the NFL and the New Orleans Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee joining the effort to improve coastal resilience," said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. "This is another great example of sports programs and organizations across the country taking action to bring about a more sustainable future. At EPA, we know that, as America's most beloved past times, sports events present huge opportunities to for us to reduce our environmental impact and spread the word about simple actions everyone can take to improve the areas where they live, work and play."

“Education is an essential tool in the campaign to protect our wetlands,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “I am excited about our new partnerships, and our hands-on project, today, to do our part in protecting the Louisiana coast.”

“Coastal erosion is one of the most serious challenges our communities face,” said Patty Riddlebarger, director of corporate social responsibility for Entergy Corporation and environmental committee chair for the New Orleans Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee. “This project represents an excellent opportunity to educate and engage young people in the effort to save our coast and save our communities.”

February 2, 1997, marked the first World Wetlands Day. Each year, governments and citizen groups work to raise awareness of the economic, recreational, and ecological benefits of wetlands, such as water quality protection, flood prevention, and fish and wildlife habitation. Louisiana’s coastal wetlands are especially vital for preventing storm surges and land erosion, and in the state’s commercial fish and shellfish harvest.

More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at
http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html

More on the Green Sports Alliance: http://greensportsalliance.org/

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