For the past eight years the University of Florida has sponsored an International Conference on worldwide wetlands restoration. This year the 9th INTECOL conference will be held in Orlando, Florida on June 3-8, 2012. Those who follow my blogs will recall that I presented a paper at the Gulf Ecosystem Restoration Task Force’s final hearing in Biloxi, Mississippi, in August, 2011. The paper (or poster) that I will present at the Florida Conference will be an update on my presentation which called for a 200-year plan for restoring the Delta and a new TVA-type organization that would be independently funded to be established in Louisiana. My presentation was included on a broadcast of my radio show, “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures,” and you may listen to my presentation as part of a YouTube video at: http://youtu.be/9k4yE6JTAd4.
As a Professional Geologist and writer who frequently wrote about scientific advances, attending, presenting and reporting from scientific conferences is not new to me. Like at many such conferences, the INTECOL organizers will have both oral and poster presentations. The oral presentations will be 20 minutes of Power Point materials, whereas the posters will typically be up for a day or half-day and then be replaced by another set. The costs of either presentation is the same, which the organizers estimate at between $600-$700 to which must be added travel expenses, lodging and meals. Even being frugal, this conference presentation business is expensive stuff, and the total costs for the six-day event could easily run over $2,000.
I feel that I have important things to say that should be voiced. My abstract has been accepted, but I need to be there to deliver it. For a guy who is trying to do interesting things with radio and writing, but is living on Social Security, I need help to get this message out. I am now applying for grants, but these will take a year or more to be approved as they work through the cycle.
A copy of the abstract is below:
A Centuries-Long Plan for Implementing the Practical Restoration of the Mississippi River Delta
Wm. Hovey Smith
Consulting Geologist, Sandersville, GA, USA
Recent major hurricanes and a large oil spill have highlighted the centuries-long deterioration of the lower Mississippi Delta south of New Orleans. Restoration of the Delta must not only take ecosystems into account, but also the maintenance of vital energy, transportation and seafood production areas while simultaneously providing increasing protection for upstream cities. A new, independently funded, TVA-like organization is proposed. This organization is intended to have the scientific knowledge, political infrastructure and resources to act quickly in the face of future natural disasters and also manage a long-term program to progressively rebuild the Delta through water and sediment management.
Because of the near-impossibility of a new Federal organization being approved by Congress in the present economic climate, a new NGO is proposed to gather stakeholders and draft proposed legislation that might be enacted when legislative conditions are more favorable.
This is a follow-up on a paper presented at the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Task Force hearing in Biloxi,Mississippi, in August, 2011.
Contact Information: Wm. Hovey Smith, Professional Geologist,1325 Jordan Mill Pond Rd.,Sandersville,GA31082USA, Phone (478) 552-7455, FAX (478) 552-7455, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If I am fortunate enough to be given “oral presentation status,” I will have 20 minutes to present my best case for the establishment of a new Lousiana-based organization that will have both the capabilities of rapid response in the face of natural disasters as well as the long-term mission or restoring the Mississippi River Delta while simultaneously making the economic and political trade-offs that will be necessary to practically manage such a dynamic ecosystem.
This is an organization where energy, transportation, fishing, environmental and political interest could all have input and pre-agree on plans of action for long-term Delta restoration. There must be trade offs and hard bargains to be made that are best done before, rather than during, a crisis. Basically, this would be war-gaming nature and the consequences of living in such a fragile, variable and dynamic ecosystem.
Check me out. Listen to what I had to say at the Biloxi Task Force meeting. If you think that my position sounds logical, or at least is a potential solution that should be thrown into the mix of possible arguments, you can send me a check to help out to the above address.
The major actors such as the Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard, U.S. Geological Survey and existing NGOs have their own funding difficulties and are not likely to finance a “loose cannon” like me who has good ideas, but is not under their control, even though they may agree with almost everything that I have to say.
I need help from individuals and other interests to offer bridge-support for my activities until grants or other funding can be secured. I have a Pay Pal “Donation Button” on my website, www.hoveysmith.com where you may donate from $50 to $1,000 using a credit card.
Contributions can also be mailed to me and will be directed through a 501c organization and will be tax-exempt. A receipt will be issued for each donation of $50 or more. If this is too much for you now, I certainly understand. My books are priced at $20 each and may be purchased through my website at www.hoveysmith.com. If you need help as much as I do getting your life re-started in this economy, look at my free 21 YouTube video series on how to start your own outdoor-based business. Perhaps these will help. If you have an artistic slant, I also have a YouTube video titled, “Selling Creative Content in a Down Economy.”