Press Releases

Singapore delegation visits The Water Institute to learn about Louisiana’s coastal restoration and water management plans

Sep 28, 2022

BATON ROUGE, La. (Sept. 28, 2022) – A delegation from Singapore, made up of representatives from the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, national water agency PUB and the Urban Redevelopment Authority, came to Baton Rouge on Wednesday to further collaboration discussions and learn more about Louisiana’s coastal management program. In April 2020, PUB was appointed the national coastal protection agency to lead and coordinate whole-of-nation efforts to protect Singapore’s coastline from sea level rise.

“Louisiana is excited to welcome our friends from Singapore as we share and build upon the lessons we’ve learned regarding living with water,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “While our state is at the forefront of the fight against climate change and coastal erosion, there are many other countries, like Singapore, grappling with similar issues. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made so far and it’s reflected not only by the projects we’ve completed on our coast, but also in our expanding economy and historically low unemployment rate. By exchanging best practices and tackling these challenges together, we can all build stronger communities and be better stewards of the Earth.”

“The United States, and the state of Louisiana, has done a lot of work post-Hurricane Katrina committing resources such as setting up the Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority and The Water Institute of the Gulf, to work together with relevant authorities and stakeholders to oversee coastal resilience efforts in Louisiana,” said Hazel Khoo, director of PUB’s Coastal Protection Department. “We would like learn from their experiences and best practices, in developing coastal protection plans and strengthening Singapore’s resilience against climate change.”

Wednesday’s meeting continues discussions begun earlier this year when leadership from Louisiana Economic Development, Louisiana State University and The Water Institute traveled to Singapore in April for the Singapore International Water Week, a global platform for the water industry to share and co-create water solutions. Singapore, as an island nation, faces many of the challenges Louisiana has been addressing for decades.

“The exchange of ideas between Louisiana and Singapore fulfills the original vision for The Water Campus,” said Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson. “By bringing research, business, policy and higher education together in a centralized location, we are able to scale water management solutions globally and bring economic development activities to our state.”

In Baton Rouge, the Singapore delegation toured The Water Campus including the LSU Center for River Studies. Following collaboration discussions with technical experts at The Water Institute, the delegation was formally welcomed to Louisiana at a luncheon with leaders from Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, LSU and other academic partners, as well as representatives from a variety of coastal restoration groups.

“Singaporeans face some of the same challenges that we do in Louisiana, including sea level rise, water quality issues and wetland loss. We need to work together as part of a global community to develop and share solutions,” said Sam Bentley, Vice President Office of Research and Economic Development at LSU. “The Water Institute, PUB and LSU can partner together and work to make a difference, for our peoples, and others facing these threats globally.”

The discussions centered around the development of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan, including the scientific basis of the plan, the public engagement process and method of regular plan updates. In addition, the delegation learned how the state’s coastal program engages deeply with academic, non-profit and private sectors to ensure that our plans reflect the best available science into the planning process.

“Following our productive meetings in Singapore this spring, we were delighted to welcome our friends from Singapore to The Water Campus to continue collaboration discussions,” said Justin R. Ehrenwerth, president and CEO of The Water Institute. “We look forward to learning from Singapore’s experience and sharing the knowledge that we’ve gained supporting Louisiana and coastal communities around the country.”