Coastal Stewardship Awards

Honoring the heroes who are helping our coastal communities


June 1, 2023

Restoring and protecting the natural treasure of Louisiana’s coast is a duty embraced by many people with diverse backgrounds. They are volunteers, students, researchers, sportsmen, governmental and business leaders, and sometimes simply coastal residents who care enough about the future of our state to take action.

Every year CRCL is proud to honor these individuals and organizations demonstrating extraordinary commitment with a Coastal Stewardship Award. Our awards were presented June 1 at the State of the Coast conference. This year, we were pleased to honor 14 award recipients who go above and beyond for our coast.

Lifetime Achievement

Reggie Dupre

Dupre is the former executive director of the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District, where he oversaw flood control and hurricane protection projects. He also was an elected official, including on the Terrebonne Parish Council, in the Louisiana House of Representatives and as chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee. Reggie’s legacy includes helping create the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

Distinguished Achievement

Gov. John Bel Edwards

Edwards is Louisiana’s 56th governor. Under his administration, the state’s Coastal Master Plan has invested $15.4 billion in coastal protection and restoration projects, benefiting over 32,000 acres of wetlands and 359 miles of levees. Another $8 billion dollars is set to be invested in the future. Edwards also led the state to develop economy-wide policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Climate Initiatives Task Force.

Coastal Stewardship

Dickie Brennan

Brennan, the owner of Dickie Brennan & Co., which operates several celebrated New Orleans restaurants, has long been a leader in the coastal restoration movement in New Orleans. He was one of the first restaurateurs to join CRCL’s Oyster Shell Recycling Program, which collects shell that otherwise would go to a landfill and instead returns it to the water to act as a wave break that slows erosion and creates habitat for new oysters to grow. One of his restaurants, Bourbon House, has recycled nearly 2 million pounds of oyster shell alone. Brennan is also a member at large for Pontchartrain Conservancy.  

Donald and Theresa Dardar

Donald and Theresa Dardar are leaders in the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe, an Indigenous tribal community in Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes. In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, the Dardars, a married couple, were involved in distributing essential supplies, rebuilding homes and other structures and advocating for their community. For more than 15 years, they have collaborated with Louisiana Sea Grant to research and promote coastal resilience and sustainability. They have also partnered with CRCL to protect their culturally significant mounds through the Oyster Shell Recycling Program.

John D. Foret

Foret, a biologist who works at C.H. Fenstermaker & Associates, has made significant contributions to the protection of the Gulf of Mexico shoreline. Foret was instrumental in securing construction funds for the CWPPRA ME-18 shoreline protection project, which has been successful in stopping coastal erosion and protecting Louisiana’s delicate ecosystem. Foret has guided private stakeholders seeking to construct CWPPRA projects in their areas of need, ensuring that coastal restoration efforts are widespread and effective.

Arthur Johnson

Johnson is the chief executive officer of the Lower 9Th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development. Johnson was the leader of an environmental internship program for local youth. Also, with a number of nonprofit partners, he has helped maintain the platform overlooking the Bayou Bienvenu wetlands in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. He serves on the governor’s advisory commission on coastal protection.

Alisha Renfro

Renfro is the science chair for Restore the Mississippi River Delta, a campaign of organizations advocating for restoration of Louisiana’s coast. Renfro, who has a doctorate in sedimentology, has been featured in publications including Scientific American, Smithsonian and the International Times. Her ability to explain complex modeling reports has helped establish her as one of the leading authorities in her field.

Friend of CRCL

Chefs Brigade

Chefs Brigade is a nonprofit organization comprised of 90 independent New Orleans and Gulf Coast restaurant partners. The organization aims to save waterways and preserve the seafood bounty of coastal Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. Chefs Brigade has sponsored smaller restaurants so they can participate in CRCL’s Oyster Shell Recycling Program. The organization also operates Chefs on Boats, an immersive education experience that explores regional fisheries, exposing chefs and food service workers to the people, waterways, vessels, and environmental science that connect it all.

Lindsay Allday

Allday runs the largest oyster program in the region, is the electric treasurer of the Gulf Shellfish Farmers Association, and is active with Oyster South, the South’s largest aquaculture advocacy group. Lindsay holds the title of oyster sommelier at Sidecar Patio and Oyster Bar, a member of the CRCL Oyster Shell Recycling Program. She is also a liaison to Chefs on Boats.

Volunteer of the year

Clay Cavignac

Cavignac, a retired firefighter and native of Louisiana, he has become CRCL’s most involved volunteer, attending 28 official volunteer days since April 2022. Clay also assists with site improvements at CRCL’s headquarters and often takes on staff roles during large group events.

Youth Volunteer of the year

Kylie Miller

Miller, a freshman at Nunez Community College, is known among CRCL staff for her exceptional dedication to coastal stewardship. As a member of CRCL’s Future Coastal Leaders program, Kylie has attended several volunteer events, both through school trips and in her free time. Kylie also attended the State of the Coast conference in 2021, demonstrating her passion for coastal conservation and restoration.

Posthumous Coastal Stewardship

Ralph Libersat

Libersat, a coastal restoration expert, dedicated his career to the protection and promotion of Louisiana’s coastline. Over 27 years, he spearheaded $89 million in projects in Vermillion Parish alone. These projects included the creation of levees, marshes and barrier islands, as well as the planting of vegetation.

Matt Sevier

Sevier was a dedicated coastal expert who spent his career working for Shaw Coastal under many names, including APTIM, gathering vital information from Louisiana’s living marsh. His work involved gathering data from the coast before the Coastwide Reference Monitoring System network existed, and he remained committed to making significant contributions to coastal restoration efforts. He also served as vice president of the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary Foundation, where he worked toward the common goal of protecting Louisiana’s natural resources.

Chuck Perrodin

Perrodin was the longest-serving public information officer of CPRA. He was a master storyteller who brought a sense of drama and showmanship to audiences in support of the agency’s efforts to address the coastal crisis. Chuck’s legacy lives on through his contributions to the LSU Center for River Studies, where his voice narrates the video at the single most accessible and educational location in the entire coastal program.

Sponsored by

Previous Winners

For a list of previous winners of Coastal Stewardship Awards, click here.