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Panelist Bio

Garret Graves
Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

Garret Graves is currently the Chair of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA) and Executive Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Activities.

The CPRA was established after Hurricane Katrina as the state agency leading hurricane protection, flood control, ecosystem restoration and other community resiliency efforts. His efforts to restructure and streamline Louisiana’s coastal programs and agencies resulted in increasing project output by more than 500 percent. The authority currently oversees a $17 billion coastal resiliency, hurricane protection and oil spill recovery program.

In his role as Executive Assistant for Coastal Activities, Graves is Governor Bobby Jindal’s advisor on policy issues related to offshore energy, fisheries, maritime and other uses and conservation of coastal resources.

Prior to joining the State of Louisiana, Graves served as an advisor to Senator John Breaux, Congressman Billy Tauzin, as well as the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Most recently, he was the Staff Director of the Climate Change and Impacts Subcommittee of the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation where he worked with Chairmen Ted Stevens, David Vitter and other senators. During this time, he advised Members of Congress on energy, environment, water resources, transportation, maritime, defense, trade, foreign affairs, and budget issues.

Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Graves was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force where he was elected to serve as Vice Chair to Chair Lisa Jackson of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on long-term recovery and resiliency efforts. Graves is lead trustee for the Natural Resources Damage Assessment process related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster and directs the state’s oil spill recovery efforts. In this capacity, Graves collaborated with BP, federal agencies and Gulf States to negotiate an unprecedented $1 billion agreement for early restoration oil spill recovery projects in the gulf.

Current Topic

10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?

The presidential election may be getting all of the attention, but Louisiana residents will be making several important decisions at the ballot box in November. The U.S. Senate seat left up for grabs by retiring Sen. David Vitter has drawn a field of 24 candidates. Louisianians in the south- and northwest parts of the state will also be voting on congressmen. So, what national concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall? What statewide issues should be on the mind of Louisiana’s next Congressional leaders? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on “Election 2016” Wednesday, October 26 at 7p.m.

Our Panelists:

• Elizabeth Crisp / The Advocate
• Greg Hilburn / Gannett Newspapers
• Martin Johnson, Ph.D. / LSU Manship School of Mass Communication
• Albert Samuels, Ph.D. / Mandela School of Public Policy, Southern University

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Patricia Smith, with the College of Government and Social Sciences at Southern University, moderate the discussion.

“Election 2016” can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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What lessons did residents and state officials learn from this historic event and what challenges remain?

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»»» View all Topics!
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