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Voices Needed in Wetlands Restoration 

  The U.S. Geological Survey issued a report this month showing Louisiana's coastline is losing its wetlands at a rate of one football field every hour. The Urban Conservancy and the Delta Discussion Group are addressing wetlands loss — and giving residents a voice to help restore it.

  The organizations host "Getting it Done Together: The Public's Role in Shaping Our Coast's Future" from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 23. The forum addresses public opportunities for shaping the future of Louisiana's coastline and wetlands restoration. The conference outlines the federal and state processes allowing public input, and how to navigate the often byzantine, long-term planning process for coastal development.

  Michele Deshotels and Leslie Suazo from the Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration will present Louisiana's 2012 Master Plan, and Mark Davis with Tulane's Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy will discuss the Natural Resource Damage Assessment, the critical study, performed following the Gulf oil disaster, that could determine the coast's future protection (and current health). Amanda Moore with the National Wildlife Federation will discuss legislation for coastal restoration projects, and the Gulf Restoration Network's Cynthia Sarthou will address the citizen advisory council representing the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Restoration Task Force.

  Scott P. Milroy will detail his research with the University of Southern Mississippi on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), the carcinogenic contaminants found in oil and gas waste. Milroy's research analyzes PAH presence in the Mississippi Sound and its impact on seafood safety.

  The free program is held at Longue Vue House & Gardens (7 Bamboo Road, 488-5488; www.longuevue.com). Registration is required; visit www.gettingitdonetogether.eventbrite.com for details.

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