you. It is my pleasure to be here. As the first Honorary Chair of the Bayou
Vermilion Preservation Association’s Water Symposium, I am privileged and
honored to welcome you here. I am truly amazed by the various programs and activities
including the sunset cruise, scientific presentations, the middle and high
school student’s poster competition, panel discussions, symposium attendance, and
the media coverage of this event. The Bayou Vermilion Treasure- A Water Weekend
is an important event for us as it is dealing with the most critical issue of
the 21st Century – the issue of water quality and quantity.
have huge challenges ahead in tackling both water quality and quantity issues,
while producing food, fiber, and energy to meet the increasing demand from a
rising global population. An event such as this becomes an example of how
nicely local communities, universities, governmental organizations, businesses,
and other stakeholders can come together and address the issue of water quality
and quantity collaboratively.
to the Vermilion River water quality, it is important for us to work together
vigorously in improving surface water quality by controlling littering and
reducing the load of nonpoint source pollutants such as sediments, nutrients,
pathogens, and other contaminants into the river. As a “natural capital” a
healthy river adds value to the local community as it will open up many
opportunities including recreational use, provide water sources, support wildlife
and propagation, and attract local business, thus generating employment
opportunities and contributing to the local economy.
important issue of the 21st Century is climate change impacts, which
is threatening our water resources. We have recently been experiencing extreme
rain events, droughts, extreme weather, and flooding. It is critical for local
communities and businesses to adapt to climate change impacts or build a
climate resilient community for their sustainability. Restoration,
preservation, and utilization of Vermilion River certainly enhance the
resiliency of Lafayette community to climate change impacts.
is important to develop Public-Private Partnerships for effectively handling
the complex issues of water resource conservation, development, and utilization.
An event like this brings various stakeholders including private businesses,
local communities, governmental agencies, industries, universities, research
institutions, and other stakeholders under the same roof and fosters
collaborative partnerships for problem solving. This event certainly
strengthens, reinforces, motivates, and helps in developing enthusiasm and
commitment among us in restoring the health of the Vermilion/Teche watershed. And
by working together, the Lafayette community will certainly be able to clean,
restore, preserve, and utilize the Vermilion River more effectively and
closing, again I would like to thank everyone including the attendees,
presenters, panelists, organizers, students, teachers, and government officials
for coming here today. My special thanks go to the BVPA Officers including Mr.
Charles H. Wyatt, the President; BVPA Board including Mrs. Jan Wyatt, Web Site
Designer; and BVPA Advisory Board for conceptualizing, planning, and executing
this event so smoothly and nicely. I am looking forward for the presentations,
questions/answers, panel discussions,
and the development of action plans for the restoration, preservation, and
utilization of the Vermilion River during this Symposium.