Historian Douglas Brinkley Urges Regional Drive For Restoring Wetlands

New Orleans, La. – Brinkley says erosion of wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico has gotten the nation's attention, but that doesn't mean a solution.

"Nationally in a very real way the BP spill was a wake-up call that this region has been abused for too long and people aren't going to take it anymore. "

He says the multiple uses of the Gulf - from oil to oysters - must work for each other's interests.

"The industrial order has had its way with the ragged boot heel of Louisiana, and I think it's a new era where conservation has to work with the industrial order. We've got to do something sustainable in Louisiana or you're going to lose all of those communities south of I-10 over the next 10, 15 or 20 years."

Brinkley says federal efforts could push wetlands restoration as a matter of national security for its protection of communities throughout the New Orleans region.

"Instead of me being here it should be 10 senators saying, Let's do it.' "

More than 400 officials, some from the Netherlands, Egypt and Bangladesh, are attending the America's Wetland Foundation Delta conference.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming.