Gov. Bobby Jindal reappointed three Acadiana members to his special advisory commission on coastal affairs Thursday. Aside from advising Jindal on key issues, members of the Governor's Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation are charged with keeping tabs on the state's overall efforts. In all there are 29 appointed members of the commission, including representatives from business, industry, academia, agriculture, commercial fishing and the conservation community. By statute, Jindal can add other non-voting members, such as federal employees, to join the commission.
Locally, the following Acadiana natives were tapped for the commission:
Paul McIlhenny of Avery Island, president and chief executive officer of the McIlhenny Company, serves as a representative of the business and industrial community.
Mark Piazza of Vermilion Parish and the mayor of Abbeville, represents local governments on the commission.
Linda Zaunbrecher of Gueydan, a rice farmer and the former president of the Louisiana Rice Growers Association, represents the agriculture industry on the commission.
Elected officials, such as the speaker of the House and the president of the Senate also serve on the panel. State Rep. Damon Baldone, a Houma Democrat, was among those asked to serve on the commission again. Baldone says that the coming term for members of coastal commission will be pivotal.
The state is finally slated to begin receive additional money from its offshore oil and gas royalties, which are earmarked for coastal protection and restoration. "The next few years are going to be extremely important," says Baldone, who was first appointed to the commission by former Gov. Mike Foster. "The groundwork has been set, and we're ready to really start moving forward. I hope we have a great working relationship with (Jindal) and that he listens to what the commission has to say because it's a well-rounded group."