About Working on the Water


In Louisiana, there is a long tradition of working on the water — the water is part of who we are. Given the volatility of the economy and the hurdles we have had to overcome — from oil spills and hurricanes, to coastal erosion and changing ecosystems — it is important that our people are able to adapt and prosper.

Working on Water (WOW) has been designed to do just that. The event will inform fishermen on how they can use their unique skills to explore new work opportunities in three key areas: coastal restoration, disaster recovery, and ecotourism.

WOW has gathered experts from across the region and country to share their experiences and insight into how fishermen can take advantage of opportunities in each of these three information areas.

An important part of the event is the creation of a database of fishermen, which will include their contact information and their interests. Organizers will use this information to notify the fishermen of job opportunities when they arise.

WOW is envisioned to be an annual event that is constantly evolving and growing to meet the needs of fishermen. We need everyone’s help to maximize success. Please share your feedback by completing the exit survey found at the event.


In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon / BP Oil Spill created the single largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. With coastal communities unsure of their economic and business futures, the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation proactively contracted a study to research economic and job opportunities for those whose livelihoods were impacted by the oil spill. The study resulted in three key recommendations and an action plan for economic development and government partners in affected areas in Southeast Louisiana:

1 . Create more value and increase profitability to current fisheries activities by developing a working water front with an open, online marketplace.

2. Develop a workforce for Coastal Restoration projects based upon the skills, resources, and assets of those already familiar with and working on the water.

3. Build a new economic sector in ecotourism to allow those that are interested or already working on the water to generate additional income in their down time with the skills, assets, and resources they already have at hand.

As these recommendations evolved, the need to connect job opportunities to individuals working on the water became apparent. WOW was created to help do just that.


Success in business comes from hard work, experience, knowledge, and opportunity. WOW matters because it creates the opportunity for those working on the water to learn more about coastal restoration and ecotourism and what’s required to do business in these fields. Those attending will also have the chance to input their information into a database that will be used to help provide a workforce for coastal restoration and disaster recovery work as it becomes available.

Join the TruFund Coastal Communities Database
**Be alerted to upcoming opportunities**
Contact Kimberly Johnson
(504) 392-2454 kjohnson@trufund.org