2nd Annual Working On The Water Summit Showcased Coastal Community Resources
CHALMETTE, LA – The second annual Working on the Water Summit and Expo returned to St. Bernard Parish on March 22, 2016, at the Meraux Foundation’s Docville Farm, concluding a year of Working on the Water programming that began in May 2015.
The dynamic line up of fishermen and resource agencies drew a crowd of more than 100 to the summit and expo.
Parish President Guy McInnis began the morning with opening remarks. The keynote presentation of the event featured alumni from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program. Other notable speakers included Christie and Bobby Lovell of White Boot Warriors, Lance Nacio of Anna Marie Shrimp, and Marcos and Boris Guerrero of Caminada Bay Premium Oysters. Grasshopper Mendoza & Steve Picou of the Louisiana Water Network moderated the summit.
“Working on the Water is all about showcasing resources to our coastal community,” said Andrew Jacques, Executive Director of the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation (SBEDF). “Today’s programming was diverse, with focuses on resiliency, government assistance, innovation, and more. Our exhibitors brought tremendous amounts of knowledge to help those who work on the water grow their businesses and thrive.”
Working on the Water is an organization created after the 2010 BP oil spill. Its mission is to support coastal businesses and improve the resiliency of the coastal economy.
The 2016 summit was presented by the Meraux Foundation. Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses served as the captain sponsor. The St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District and the St. Bernard Parish Government were deck hand sponsors.
The 2016 summit was the result of a partnership between SBEDF, the Regional Planning Commission (RPC), and the Economic Development Administration (EDA). The partnership allowed for expanded Working on the Water programming, including four workshops held through 2015.
Locally-based TMG Consulting was awarded the contract to serve as program manager for Working on the Water activities in 2015 through the 2016 summit, organizing all of the education outreach initiatives.
In addition to SBEDF, RPC, and EDA, Working on the Water activities are guided by an advisory committee comprised of Louisiana Economic Development, Nunez Community College, the Meraux Foundation, St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Small Business Development Center, TruFund, Leadership St. Bernard, LiftFund, St. Bernard Parish Office of Tourism, GNO, Inc., National Wildlife Federation’s Vanishing Paradise Program, NOLA Vibe and the Louisiana Water Network.
Over the next several months, information presented at the summit, including video, will be uploaded here.