Upon inclusion in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Estuary Program, a diverse group of stakeholders was assembled including representatives from industry and business, fisheries, agriculture, oil and gas, government agencies, individual citizens, landowners, civic organizations, hunters, scientists, engineers, environmentalists, economists, and urban planners.
This group is known as the BTNEP Management Conference (BTMC) and it ensures a place for the voice of all that live, work, and play in the Barataria-Terrebonne estuarine complex.
The BTMC, which originally convened in 1990 to develop the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP), has been the catalyst for producing open and frank discussions about some of the most critical coastal management issues of the nation for over 25 years. The BTMC’s primary function is to encourage and oversee the implementation of the CCMP by coordinating and integrating the CCMP actions among agencies and stakeholders. In addition, the BTMC maintains an interchange with other similar federal, state and local planning efforts, and reviews and modifies the implementation of the CCMP as conditions change over time. Finally, the BTMC fosters and expands the use of participatory, voluntary and incentive-based approaches to decision-making in the estuary.
Over the years, the BTMC worked to build consensus in the development and implementation of the CCMP. Members of the BTMC have volunteered tens of thousands of hours determining the directions the journey must take to safeguard the estuary for future generations. Today, the BTMC meets quarterly to provide direction and oversight to the BTNEP program office as they implement the CCMP, a plan equally as vital today as it was when it was created.