Nicholls professor honored for coastal restoration advocacy

THIBODAUX, La. — A Nicholls State University professor was recognized for his contributions to coastal restoration by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.

Dr. Gary LaFleur, associate professor of biological sciences and director of The Center for Bayou Studies, received a Coastal Stewardship Award during the organization’s State of the Coast conference on May 31 in New Orleans.

“It was a humbling experience and one that I appreciated. Several of my colleagues, including Dr. Quenton Fontenot, Dr. Allyse Ferrara and Dr. Earl Melancon, have received this award in the past, and I hold their work in high esteem,” said Dr. LaFleur. “It was an honor to have my students at the ceremony with me so that I could share the honor with them.”

For more than two decades, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana has honored individuals and organizations who “demonstrate outstanding commitment to the coast and have made significant contributions to the restoration and conservation of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.

“Dr. LaFleur is a unique combination of scholar, teacher and advocate. He is able to focus beyond the science to the people and their culture that are affected by it,” the organization said in a news release.

Established in 1988, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana is the state’s oldest, statewide nonprofit dedicated to coastal restoration.

“Here at Nicholls, we don’t always have the resources to match our peers, but it’s evident that we’re actively meeting the challenge that coastal erosion presents and we are one of the fundamental leaders in research and education on the coast,” Dr. LaFleur said.