ROR 15th Anniversary
Restore or Retreat Celebrates 15th Anniversary
The regional coastal advocacy organization Restore or Retreat is celebrating their fifteenth anniversary this year. The birth of Restore or Retreat in 2000 brought landowners, port commissions, parish governments, restoration advocates, levee experts, business owners and residents together for the specific purpose of restoring the Barataria and Terrebonne Basins.
The organization filed 501(c)(3) non-profit paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service in May 2000, which formalized the group that had already been meeting regularly with local elected officials in Terrebonne and Lafourche to discuss the economic and ecological crisis the area’s land loss represented, and to urge the leaders to make restoration of the Barataria and Terrebonne Basins a priority.
ROR was modeled after the already-successful LA 1 Coalition, which had a singular focus, something the founding members thought was critical to the organization’s success. Many of the Coalition’s members also serve or have served on the Restore or Retreat Executive Committee, and their offices are co-located on the campus of Nicholls State University in Thibodaux.
Past successes for the organization include initiating a $1 million reconnaissance level study on a major diversion for the Barataria and Terrebonne Basin’s under the leadership of then-Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle. The material in that study was used in multiple state and federal documents, and information is still relevant in current coastal projects.
ROR also has hosted numerous field trips for decision makers and influential media to potential restoration areas and project sites such as Davis Pond and Caernarvon freshwater diversions, Caminada Headlands, Bubba Dove Flood Gate, wetlands of central Terrebonne, Wax Lake Outlet, and more. Guests at past ROR events include Senators Landrieu and Cassidy, Congressman Scalise, Congressman Graves, then-Congressman Jindal, Coast Guard Admiral Mary Landry, and Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Executive Director Justin Ehrenworth.
ROR members have also participated in numerous local, state, and national events and organizations. Executive Director Simone Maloz was an original member of the Women of the Storm, as well as appointed to important boards and groups such as Congressman Scalise’s RESTORE Council, to ensure post-spill funds are spent on restoration, and the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration, and Conservation. Executive Committee members are also board members of the Governor’s Advisory Commission and the Water Institute of the Gulf.
ROR has also called for heightened state and federal attention to the Barataria and Terrebonne Basins through multiple planning efforts, including the State’s Coastal Master Plan and post-oil spill planning efforts like the RESTORE Act, Natural Resource Damage Assessment process and the Gulf Fund of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.