BATON ROUGE, The. – This Friday, Governor John Bel Edwards will lead a delegation of business and state leaders on an economic development, water management and resilience mission to the Netherlands and France. The delegation includes representatives from Louisiana Economic Development, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Gulf Water Institute, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Gulf Research Program, Port of New Orleans , New Orleans & Company, Shell and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. They will explore the flood control challenges facing France and the Netherlands and examine the solutions these countries have implemented that could be applied to risk reduction strategies in our state, while sharing our expertise and our Louisiana experiences.
The trip is the result of an invitation from the Kingdom of the Netherlands’ special envoy for international water affairs, Ambassador Henk Ovink, who will travel with Governor Edwards and the delegation between Amsterdam and Delft to discuss the latest progress made by the country in the areas of flood control and water management. Ovink, one of the world’s leading water policy makers, will engage the Louisiana team to discuss ways the state can leverage resilience projects to spur commercial investment in a sector of growing water management, anchored by the Baton Rouge Water Campus.
Governor Edwards will see first-hand one of the most ambitious and innovative flood control infrastructure innovations in the Netherlands, the Noordwaard polder project of the Room for the River programme. The delegation will also visit the Water Research Campus in Delft which is home to Deltares, an international applied research group that collaborates with the Gulf Water Institute on flood risk reduction projects. They will see the Deltares Delta Flume project up close, which is the most advanced wave testing facility in the world.
Governor Edwards will also honor Louisiana’s military veterans during his visit to Normandy in northern France, where he will raise awareness for a $400 million fundraising campaign for the National World War II Museum. This fundraising drive culminates with the recent dedication of the Bollinger Canopy of Peace, the opening of the postwar-focused Liberation Pavilion later this year, and the expansion of the brick-and-mortar museum campus that is expected to s complete in the spring of 2023. The New Orleans Museum is an important economic engine for the state, with annual revenues of more than $70 million in 2021 and support for more than 400 direct and indirect jobs.
The delegation will leave on Friday August 5 and return on Sunday August 14.
“I am very grateful to the Netherlands’ special envoy for international water affairs, Henk Ovink, for inviting me and our delegation to his country to continue our work together on water management. ‘water,” Governor Edwards said. “This is a great opportunity to learn from international leaders in flood prevention and grow our economy while we’re at it. I also look forward to strengthening Louisiana’s cultural and economic ties with France. It will be a privilege to visit Normandy to honor those who fought in World War II and to raise international awareness of the world-class WWII Museum in New Orleans.
Governor Edwards will use the trip to advance Louisiana’s broader economic interests in meetings with major international companies. Shell executives will join the governor and state and local economic development officials to discuss the transition of the energy industry and potential future investments in the state. Terminal Investments Limited, one of the world’s leading container terminal developers, will engage the delegation in a discussion of supply chain challenges as the Port of New Orleans seeks to expand Louisiana’s infrastructure .
The Governor will also work to advance the creation of a technical advisor position to the French government. This position has been previously approved by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and will be based in Louisiana. In a first for this type of position, the Advisor will focus on identifying and exploring future partnerships on issues relating to the economic implications of energy transition, climate change and related environmental issues.
This is Governor Edwards’ second international trip of his second term and his fifth as governor. His last international trip was to Scotland for the International Climate Change Summit in October 2021.