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Sunday, August 19, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Garret Graves
Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

Garret Graves is currently the Chair of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA) and Executive Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Activities.

The CPRA was established after Hurricane Katrina as the state agency leading hurricane protection, flood control, ecosystem restoration and other community resiliency efforts. His efforts to restructure and streamline Louisiana’s coastal programs and agencies resulted in increasing project output by more than 500 percent. The authority currently oversees a $17 billion coastal resiliency, hurricane protection and oil spill recovery program.

In his role as Executive Assistant for Coastal Activities, Graves is Governor Bobby Jindal’s advisor on policy issues related to offshore energy, fisheries, maritime and other uses and conservation of coastal resources.

Prior to joining the State of Louisiana, Graves served as an advisor to Senator John Breaux, Congressman Billy Tauzin, as well as the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Most recently, he was the Staff Director of the Climate Change and Impacts Subcommittee of the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation where he worked with Chairmen Ted Stevens, David Vitter and other senators. During this time, he advised Members of Congress on energy, environment, water resources, transportation, maritime, defense, trade, foreign affairs, and budget issues.

Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Graves was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force where he was elected to serve as Vice Chair to Chair Lisa Jackson of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on long-term recovery and resiliency efforts. Graves is lead trustee for the Natural Resources Damage Assessment process related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster and directs the state’s oil spill recovery efforts. In this capacity, Graves collaborated with BP, federal agencies and Gulf States to negotiate an unprecedented $1 billion agreement for early restoration oil spill recovery projects in the gulf.

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

Recent Topics


     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?
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