Extension Agents Honored for Recovery, Conservation Work
ROUGE – Three Louisiana Sea Grant (LSG) Marine Extension/LSU
AgCenter agents are the recipients of the 2006 Gulf of Mexico
and Caribbean Sea Grant Extension Network’s Outstanding
Group Achievement Award for their response and continuing
recovery work following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. One of
the three also is the recipient of the 2006 Conservation Educator
of the Year Award in the 43rd Annual Governor’s Conversation
Achievement Recognition Program, conducted by the Louisiana
receiving the Extension Network award are Albert “Rusty”
Gaudé, associate area agent for St. Bernard, Plaquemines
and Orleans parishes; Kevin Savoie, area agent and fisheries
agent for the Southwest Louisiana Region; and Mark Schexnayder,
area fisheries agent and hurricane program coordinator for
Southeast Louisiana. Schexnayder also received the Conservation
hurricane season brought unprecedented devastation to the
U.S. Gulf Coast. Despite all three agents being displaced
by either Hurricanes Katrina or Rita, they quickly returned
to assist their constituents, most notably fishermen and local
rapidly became critical points of contact, and their roles
in this difficult process are certain to serve as models for
other Sea Grant programs confronted with similar circumstances
in the future,” said Mike Liffmann, LSG associate executive
director. “Rusty, Mark and Kevin provided leadership,
advisory and technical support to many of the responding agencies
and nongovernmental groups involved in the recovery effort.
They saw what others didn’t see and drove a direct path
to what needed to be done.”
the trio’s recovery efforts were: soliciting a Marine
Travelift from Valdez, Alaska, to get commercial fishing boats
back into the water; aiding operators of critical seafood
processing facilities in reopening; acquiring industrial ice
machines to serve the needs of fishermen in Cameron, St. Bernard
and Plaquemines parishes; aiding in the relocation of a displaced
Lake Pontchartrain Commercial Fishermen Association fleet;
and storm debris marking and removal on Calcasieu Lake.
their efforts are chronicled in a short documentary titled
Sister Storms: A Louisiana Sea Grant Response. The film is
available for viewing at www.laseagrant.org/comm/media.htm.
Group Achievement Award recipients, the trio will represent
the Gulf region in a national awards competition. The national
winners will be announced in the fall.
was honored with the Conservation Educator award for his pre-and-post-Katrina
work in New Orleans City Park, among other efforts. Prior
to the 2005 hurricane season, Schexnayder aided in the rehabilitation
of the lagoons in the park and Bayou St. John. Following Hurricane
Katrina, he coordinated volunteers helping restore the park
to its pre-storm condition through plantings and debris removal.
its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant has worked
to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources
through a combination of research, education and outreach
programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental
health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant,
based at LSU, is part of the National Sea Grant Program, a
network of 32 university-based programs in each of the U.S.
coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico.