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Nicholls Biology Professor Appointed to State Task Force

THIBODAUX, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards has appointed a Nicholls State University biology professor to a new task force that was created to address critical issues in the Atchafalaya Basin.

Dr. Chris Bonvillain, associate professor of biological sciences, will join the 21-member Task Force on Atchafalaya River Basin Restoration and Enhancement.

Gov. Edwards created the advisory board in December with the hopes it could address critical issues facing the basin through collaboration with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and other coastal-based organizations.

“The Atchafalaya Basin is the largest river-basin swamp in the country and is a vital part of Louisiana’s ecology, economy, culture and flood protection. However, human-made changes in the basin have resulted in many negative consequences including altered water flow and hydrology, reduced water quality and sedimentation issues,” Dr. Bonvillain said. “This task force will be a collaboration among multiple basin stakeholder groups to raise public awareness about issues in the basin, identify sources of funding for basin projects and identify and implement projects that will benefit economic, cultural and natural resources in the basin.”

Gov. Edwards in announcing the group will address the holistic management of navigation, flood control, economics and restoration, as well as identify and provide support for new and recurring sources of funding.

“I hope to use my 17-plus years of research knowledge in the Atchafalaya Basin to provide scientific leadership, advice and assessment on projects that will conserve, sustain and enhance the Atchafalaya Basin,” Dr. Bonvillain said.

For more information on Nicholls Biological Sciences, visit www.nicholls.edu/biology.

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