Introducing Into the Blue 2050
Baton Rouge Leaders Create Vision to Become Global Water CapitalJan 26, 2015 — Baton Rouge — Today at the Baton Rouge Press Club, Dr. Chip Groat, President and CEO of The Water Institute of the Gulf, unveiled Into the Blue 2050, a vision for capitalizing on and sustaining the Baton Rouge Area’s freshwater assets.
Last Fall, led by The Water Institute of the Gulf and the Environment & Health Council of Louisiana (E&HCL), a focus group of nearly 40 community leaders representing business and industry, nonprofits, academia, and public sector agencies from across the Capital Region convened to shape the vision for Into the Blue 2050, and develop principles and objectives to form the foundation for the initiative. Board President Layna Cook, JD, represented E&HCL at Baton Rouge Press Club.
The premise of the focus group was that if stakeholders and citizens from across the Capital Region act in a collaborative effort, grounded in wise and thoughtful planning, the area can increase the value of these assets to realize their full potential for contributing to our quality of life, economic well being, and overall prosperity.
More specifically, the results of this effort can be referenced for both guidance and inspiration in the design of future projects, studies, and innovations related to water. As such, The Water Institute has been exploring opportunities to contribute to a better understanding of the supply and use of water resources in Louisiana by assessing the availability and use of technical understandings of water resource occurrence, supply, availability, and use in water resource management, including how these could change as the climate and economy of an area changes.
“Projects already under way both at The Water Institute and other organizations are based on the incredible value of our water resources,” said Groat. “With Into the Blue 2050, we hope to track these types of initiatives and bring them together under a common moniker and vision, which will strengthen our region’s identity as a global water capital.”
While the first step in the process was to lay out a shared vision for Into the Blue 2050, The Water Institute and its partners are currently exploring directions for next steps. Potential ideas include the following:
- Formation of a Water Council that could serve as the catalyst for Into the Blue related activities;
- Tracking and supporting projects that align with Into the Blue 2050 objectives;
- Execution of campaigns and other communications initiatives to raise awareness of the valuable resources that exist in the Capital Region; and,
- Working with economic development entities to promote the region’s water-based opportunities.
While concrete next steps are still under development, the Into the Blue 2050 participants hope that by releasing this document, they can grow awareness and solicit more ideas for next steps from the broader Capital Region community.
To learn more and view the Into the Blue 2050 Focus Group Summary Document, please visit www.thewaterinstitute.org/into-the-blue-2050.
About The Water Institute of the Gulf
The Water Institute of the Gulf is a not-for-profit, independent research institute dedicated to advancing the understanding of coastal, deltaic, river and water resource systems, both within the Gulf Coast and around the world. This mission supports the practical application of innovative science and engineering, providing solutions that benefit society. For more information, visit www.thewaterinstitute.org.