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German legislators talk environmental solutions during Loyola visit

June 10, 2011

Fourteen members of the Bavarian German legislature visited the Loyola University New Orleans campus last week for a meeting with Robert A. Thomas, Ph.D., director of the Center for Environmental Communication and Loyola Chair of Environmental Communication. The meeting was a part of a fact-finding trip that centered on learning more about America’s environmental and municipal health issues and how solutions to those challenges could be applied in Germany.

The group is visiting cities across the United States in an effort to better understand how different areas of the country are impacted both positively and negatively by their surrounding environment.

“We discussed New Orleans’ unique position at the mouth of the Mississippi River and its relationship with oil and gas production,” Thomas said. “From Katrina to the oil spill to the rising river, we’ve dealt with a lot of environmental challenges and they were interested in how we faced those challenges and our preparation for the future.”

Louisiana’s German Honorary Consul W. Paul Andersson said the group was particularly interested in the environment and the impact it can have on other aspects of daily life.

“Different venues have different experiences, and while they were here, they seemed very interested in the wetlands issue,” Andersson said. “The cause, the remediation efforts, and the political fallout that comes with funding those things were all of great interest to them.”

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