May 17, 2019
Baton Rouge, LA
The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana hosted the 24th Annual Stewardship Awards Banquet at 6:00 pm on Friday, May 17, 2019 at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center. This year CRCL honored coastal stewards who demonstrated passionate commitment to Louisiana's coast and made immense contributions to the restoration and conservation of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.
2019 Award Winners
From academia to journalists to on the ground volunteers, our winners represent the diverse ways people are involved in protecting coastal Louisiana. The 2019 winners fall into four categories: Coastal Stewardship, Lifetime Achievement, Friend of CRCL and Volunteer of the Year.
Lifetime Achievement Award - Woody Crews
Woody Crews has served on the CRCL Board since 1998 and served as Board Chair 2006-2007. For nearly three decades, he has been a constant advocate for our coast. Woody is a member of Ducks Unlimited and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. He is the father of three outdoorsmen and grandfather of two. Woody is a graduate of Tulane University with a BA in Economics and B.S. in Business Management and a Fellow with the Institute of Environmental Communications at Loyola University. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing, hunting, and conservation of the Louisiana coastal heritage.
Coastal Stewardship Award
Richie Blink – Richie Blink has built his life around reversing land loss. He has planted more than 15,000 cypress trees to restore habitat and knock down storm surge. He has worked as a community organizer for the National Wildlife Federation to build widespread support for large-scale, sustainable coastal restoration projects in Plaquemines at great social, and sometimes physical, risk. Richie is a founding member of New Harmony High, a high school with a curriculum centered on coastal restoration and climate change. In his free time, he leads boat tours into the delta to educate people from far and near on the importance of Louisiana’s wetlands and what’s needed to reverse land loss, and when that’s not possible, how to adapt as a community. He now serves as a council member in Plaquemines where he works to build restoration, resiliency, and adaptation into local policy.
Jean Landry – Jean Landry has been a resident of Grand Isle since June 1962. She graduated from Grand Isle High School and studied business management at Nicholls State University. She’s worked for The Nature Conservancy for 18 years. Before The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Jean worked for the Greater Lafourche and Bayou Region Chamber of Commerce for several years and volunteered within her civic and church communities. Jean helped TNC secure its first donation of maritime forest, The Grilletta Tract. A year or so later TNC offered her the opportunity to manage the program at Grand Isle. Jean was a co-founder and chairperson of the Grand Isle Migratory Bird Festival, which is celebrating its 21st year in 2019. She leads partnerships and friendships with the Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Program, Nicholls State University, Town of Grand Isle, and countless other schools, universities, and NGOs. Jean also serves as Vice President for the BTNEP Board of Directors and creates opportunities for visiting schools and colleges/universities to interact with Grand Isle residents and students.
Ted Jackson — Ted Jackson was born in McComb, Mississippi in 1956 and is a graduate of Parklane Academy, Southwest Mississippi Junior College and the University of Southern Mississippi. After two years with the Daily Iberian in New Iberia, LA, Ted joined The Times-Picayune in 1984. In 1996, he was part of a four-member team that produced Oceans of Trouble, a comprehensive look at the impending collapse of the world’s fisheries. The writing and photography broke new ground in the understanding of the environmental crisis unfolding in south Louisiana, which earned The Times-Picayune the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for public service — the first Pulitzer in the paper’s 160-year history. He has covered the physical destruction and emotional trauma of earthquakes and hurricanes, most notably, Hurricane Katrina. The Times-Picayune staff won a Pulitzer Prize for public service and another for breaking news, for their coverage. His work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, and books around the world including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, and National Geographic. He has appeared on the CBS Morning Show, ABC, CNN, Fox News, and NBC. He has been interviewed multiple times on NPR and was one of three subjects featured in a documentary on Hurricane Katrina on The Weather Channel.
Linda Hooper-Bùi — Linda Hooper-Bùi is an Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences at LSU who became intensely interested in coastal issues through research on fire ant flood survival strategies. She, along with undergraduate students she mentored, discovered that coastal fire ants have changed their behavior and physiology in response to sea-level rise. Since then, she has worked on disturbance ecology in the Gulf of Mexico responding to the BP drilling disaster and the recent Roseau cane dieback. Linda leads research on the effect of restoration practices on the Gulf plant and animal community and investigates impacts of climate ‘sloshings and forcings’ on coastal plants and animals. Another major effort is her work promoting persistence in STEM education in K-12 and creating mentoring networks in University STEM education in the United States. She is the director of LSU’s award-winning chapter of EnvironMentors, a mentored environmental science program for Scotlandville High School students.
James “Ed” Bodker — Ed Bodker grew up on the edge of the swamps and marshes just south of Ponchatoula. The grandson of a fur buyer, Ed first began loving and learning about the wetlands by listening to stories told when trappers showed up to sell their fur. By age nine, he was using a pirogue and wading in the swamps and marshes close to home. Ed graduated with a degree in Biology from Southeastern Louisiana University and continued his studies in evolutionary theology, graduating with a M. div. from Colgate Rochester Theological Seminary. Environmental science became Ed’s chosen profession of work. Serving as the Environmental Program Manager for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, he managed the environmental evaluation laboratory until his retirement in 2006. After retiring, Ed became an advocate for wetland preservation spending much of his time studying nutrient pollution. Ed is currently working with several environmental advocacy groups.
Byron Encalade — Byron Encalade is a native of East Pointe A-LA Hache, LA, a small fishing village in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. A commercial fisherman himself, Byron is a firm and committed advocate for our coast. His whole-hearted dedication to a sustainable future for coastal lives and livelihoods is evidenced by his community involvement. Byron is the president of the Louisiana Oysterman Association. He is currently serving as Plaquemines Parish Constable, District 1, Ward 3. He is a member of GO FISH, which advocates for sustainable fisheries along the Gulf Coast communities. Byron is also a voting board member on the Louisiana Oyster Task Force. In 2016, he was recognized by President Barack Obama as a Champion of Change for Sustainable Seafood. Byron has been engaged in harvesting and transporting seafood throughout the United States. He continues advocating for policies benefitting his community, the Gulf Coast, and the state of Louisiana.
Volunteer of the Year — Pete Griffard
Pete started volunteering with CRCL in the spring of 2017 and attended five events through the end of 2018. From planting marsh grass in Freshwater Bayou to restoring dunes along the Cameron Shoreline to planting native trees in the Caernarvon outfall area and the Maurepas land bridge, Pete has volunteered at every type of habitat restoration event CRCL has to offer. At the coldest event of the season, Pete brought his son to help plant cypress, water tupelo, and red swamp maple trees in Lake Maurepas. Although the conditions were rough, the two stayed positive, worked hard, and helped CRCL plant 800 trees. The Sunset, LA (just north of Lafayette) resident has traveled over 1,300 miles to our various event locations to help our coast.
Friend of CRCL — Alex Beard
American painter and author Alex Beard is best known for his elaborate wildlife compositions created in his signature style of gesturalpainting, which he has coined “Abstract Naturalism.” Alex is inspired by the natural world around him and attempts to capture the beautiful way that animals move intrinsically in nature. His love for the environment has led him and his charity, The Watering Hole Foundation, to partner with CRCL to raise funds for local coastal restoration initiatives. Alex has donated the proceeds from two paintings to CRCL in recent years, and he’s hosted two gallery receptions to benefit CRCL. Alex’s studio is in the heart of New Orleans’ creative Magazine Street district. It is both the creative hub of his artistic practice and a successful enterprise. The studio is open to the public to encourage and foster interaction between the artist and his audience. Alex lives in New Orleans with his wife, two children, two dogs, a cat, and a mess of other critters at The Pink Elephant in the Garden District.