Water is essential for life on earth and indeed water covers two-thirds of our planet. We literally cannot live with out it. But living with it, managing it, trying to control it and make it do what we want it to do is an ever present challenge – especially in South Louisiana where we are surrounded by lakes, rivers, bayous and a Gulf that is eating away at our battered coastline and inching closer to our our inland areas.
Scott Nesbitt is a wetlands ecologist and the owner of Natural Resource Professionals, a consulting firm that provides regulatory expertise to municipalities, industrial interests and developers within South Louisiana. The firm’s regulatory expertise includes conducting all surveys and site studies required to identify jurisdictional wetlands and secure the necessary permits from the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Scott is also an investor in and manager of the Spanish Lake Mitigation bank, which helps drain much of Ascension and Iberville parishes. Scott has been in the business since 1987, when the US Army Corps of Engineers officially recognized wetlands as a regulated “Waters of the US”. Since that time, he has gained widespread experience as a technical and regulatory wetland specialist.
Ken Rust is owner of Enterprise Aquatics, a Baton Rouge based company that specializes in water and water management in several distinct ways. Enterprise Aquatics has two subsidiaries: One, Louisiana Pond Management, manages ponds and lakes, large and small, for aesthetics, water quality, and sport fish production. The other is a new company Small Scale Aquaponics, which specializes in water based food production, including aquaculture, aquaponics, and hydroponics.
Ken Rust is a native of Louisiana and a graduate of LSU with a degree in aquaculture and fisheries. He has been in the water business for more than two decades.
Out to Lunch Baton Rouge is recorded live over lunch at Mansurs on the Boulevard in Baton Rouge. Photos by Erik Otts. And here’s more lunchtime conversation about Baton Rouge’s ongoing struggles with water.