While our coasts and coastal communities faces immeasurable threats, there are exciting new strategies to mitigate many of these challenges. This panel will center on some of the technological and social innovations that will foster resilient coasts and resilient coastal communities. While there is much to be concerned about, there are also many bright spots that we need to recognize and built upon.
Halle Parker, Coastal Desk Reporter WNNO
- Franziska Trautmann - Co-CEO Glass Half Full
- R. Ian Doromal - Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of EcoSpears
- Shelby Thomas - Co-founder and CEO of the Ocean Rescue Alliance
Halle Parker covers Louisiana's environment for WWNO's Coastal Desk, centering on environmental justice, climate change and the state's coastal land loss crisis. Before coming to New Orleans Public Radio, she covered similar topics for the Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate and down the bayou for the Houma Courier.
The Virginia native has also worked for the National Audubon Society, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Danville Register & Bee.Back to Top
Franziska Trautmann, a Louisiana native, graduated with honors from Tulane University in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. As a senior in college, she and her co-founder, Max Steitz, founded Glass Half Full to recycle glass in New Orleans into sand and gravel. She currently serves as the CEO of the company, focusing on expanding their impact, such as using recycled glass sand in coastal restoration. She also keeps up with her own and Glass Half Full’s social media network of over 500,000 people from around the world. Additionally, Franziska and Max founded Nola Alchemy, which creates jewelry and Mardi Gras Beads from recycled glass, and Glassroots, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding accessibility to recycling.Back to Top
Ian Doromal is a co-founder and the Executive Vice President for ecoSPEARS with 15+ years of experience in organizational leadership, startups, and strategic sales and marketing. He oversees business development initiatives for ecoSPEARS, including community outreach, client procurement, and public relations, corporate strategy, and partnerships. Ian has been named Orlando Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” (twice) and OBJ “CEOs of the Year” for his proven business leadership in founding six separate startup companies. Ian earned his MBA in Marketing & Operations.Back to Top
Founder and CEO of the Ocean Rescue Alliance, a marine conservation and restoration nonprofit organization, that implements innovative techniques to restore marine environments. Utilizing artificial structure to enhance marine environments, build marine habitat, conduct restoration, protect coastlines, and connect communities through art. She is an expert in marine restoration and conservation, receiving her master’s in Marine Ecology and currently completing her PhD in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences focused in Marine Biology with the University of Florida. She is an environmentalist and marine conservation advocate who hopes to inspire others to protect our environments. She has worked with various restoration projects including coral, seagrass, oyster, sea-urchin, and scallop restoration.
She is passionate about preserving our natural ecosystems and creating a foundation for their appreciation. Her nonprofit combines art to aid in communicating science to the public in impactful ways. The Ocean Rescue Alliance artificial reefs create complex habitat space, enable species specific restoration, and serve as ecotourism destinations that combines art and culture to connect the communities they serve.Back to Top