Kyle Graham, head of the state coastal restoration agency, speaks at The Lens' event Aug. 20, 2014. Credit: Jason Berry

About 130 people attended our Coastal Conservation Conversation event Wednesday night to hear experts discuss the challenges of funding the state’s 50-year, $50 billion coastal rebuilding plan.

On the panel:

Fox 8 News’ John Snell moderated.

Here are some highlights. The full video is at the end.

Graham: Oil and gas will pay for the coast, somehow

“I think it’s very difficult to see a future” without some kind of settlement with the oil and gas industry, Graham said.

Davis: Mitigation ‘is not a restoration strategy’

Davis said local government must stimulate private investment by being smart about how they build homes and roads and how they manage subsidence.

Graham lays out state’s plan to fund projects

Graham started off by explaining how much the state is spending to rebuild the coast and where the money is coming from — largely penalties and other payments from the BP oil spill.

Davis: We’ll have another chance to rebuild this city

When Snell asked why we should expect leaders to make hard decisions about coastal restoration when the city of New Orleans didn’t do so after Hurricane Katrina, Davis brought some nervous laughter with his answer: The city will “get another chance” to rebuild properly.

Closing statements

Full panel, start to finish

Steve Myers

Steve Myers was editor of The Lens. Before joining the staff in 2012, Myers was managing editor of Poynter Online, the preeminent source of news and training about the journalism industry. At Poynter,...