ROR’s 20+ Year Mission

Advocating the Use of Science to Save Our Coast, Community & Culture

The regional coastal advocacy organization Restore or Retreat has been advocating a single mission toward saving our coast for over 20 years!  The birth of Restore or Retreat in 2000 brought restoration advocates, landowners, port commissions, business owners, parish governments, levee experts and everyday residents together for the specific purpose– 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 which had already been meeting regularly with local elected officials in Lafourche and Terrebonne 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 the LA 1 Coalition and ROR offices are co-located on the campus of Nicholls State University in Thibodaux.

Early successes for the organization included initiating a $1 million reconnaissance level study of a major sediment diversion for the Barataria and Terrebonne Basin’s under the leadership of then-Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle.  The results of the study were used in multiple state and federal documents, and information is still relevant in current coastal projects today.

ROR continues to host field trips for decision makers and influential media to 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 and field trips include US Senators and Congressmen, EPA Administrator and regional officials, Chairman of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, RESTORE Council leadership staff and members, and more.

ROR members have also participated in numerous local, state, and national events and organizations.  Former 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 were also a part of the Governor’s Advisory Commission, the Water Institute of the Gulf, and Coastal Protection and Restoration Financing Authority.

Working in the Barataria and Terrebonne basins, the heart of the worst coastal land loss in the United States, ROR focuses daily on engaging communities and implementing real restoration solutions for the region, including projects such as freshwater and sediment diversions, barrier islands, shoreline restoration and marsh creation. Our work moving forward will reflect the continued sense of urgency to implement State Coastal Master Plan-level projects for the Bayou Region.