REM/Pearl Jam Call for Prez Debate on NOLA


one more item just slipped over the Blurt transom, this time not just a load of
hype, either!

By Blurt Staff


known musicians have united with Louisiana
artists to call on the Presidential candidates to debate in New
Orleans about Louisiana
coastal wetlands restoration and hurricane recovery. With the third anniversary
of Hurricane Katrina looming, musicians are urging the candidates to weigh in
on Gulf Coast issues which need Federal
leadership — Louisiana Coastal wetlands rebuilding and a sustainable hurricane
recovery, by attending a Presidential Forum being organized by the websites
Google and YouTube.


Gulf Restoration Network partnered with Grammy-nominated musician Tab Benoit and his Voice of the Wetlands organization to enlist more than 90 musicians and
music industry leaders on a letter to the candidates urging them to support Louisiana coastal
wetlands rebuilding, a sustainable hurricane recovery and to present plans on
both issues at the Google/YouTube forum.  The letter was signed by a wide
range of musicians and music industry voices; from New Orleans own Allen
Toussaint, Aaron Neville, Dr. John, Galactic
, and Funky Meters to
internationally known acts like REM, Pearl Jam, Trent Reznor, 311, Ok Go,
Jackson Browne, My Morning Jacket
and the Indigo Girls.

Rounder recording artist Amanda Shaw, a New Orleans
based singer, songwriter and fiddler, turned 18 years old this week but has
been an advocate for Louisiana’s
wetlands since she was 14.  “As a first time voter, I want to make
sure they know how much we need our wetlands and hear their plans to restore
the coast because the wetlands take care of us and protect us,” said Shaw.
 Coastal experts have estimated that every mile of coastal wetlands that a
storm travels over diminishes its surge by as much as a foot and point to the
ongoing loss of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands
(currently 25 square miles per year) as a primary reason that New Orleans’ federal levees failed during

Stanton Moore, a founding member and drummer for Galactic stated, “New Orleans is the
birthplace of jazz, and has influenced about every American style of music that
followed, from rock to hip hop.  The next President will need to
prioritize restoring our coast to continue the recovery process.  The
culture of our whole country depends on it.”

Benoit explains, “This forum is the perfect opportunity for the people of Louisiana to voice their
concerns about rebuilding our wetlands and communities. It creates the
opportunity to get the Presidential candidates to make concrete proposals for
how we can ensure that Hurricane Katrina does not happen again.”

Expected to use a format similar to the YouTube forum in the primaries, members
of the public will be able to ask questions of the candidates by submitting
YouTube videos. Despite high-profile support from Louisiana’s
Governor Bobby Jindal, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as well as the New Orleans area
universities, neither Senator Barack Obama nor Senator John McCain have
committed to the event.



read the letter and see the complete list of signatories, please visit:


more information about Louisiana’s
coastal crisis, please visit:


Of the Wetlands
(VOW) is an
organization that is made up strictly of volunteers who dedicate their talent,
time and resources to bring global attention to south Louisiana and the world’s coastal erosion
problem.  Based in Houma, Louisiana,
VOW is organizing their 5th annual Voice of the Wetlands Festival
October 10-12 at the Southdown Plantation in Houma.  On the web at


Restoration Network
(GRN) is a
network of groups and individuals committed to restoring the Gulf
of Mexico to an ecologically and biologically sustainable
condition.  Based in New Orleans,
Louisiana, the GRN is the only
organization solely focused on uniting and empowering people to protect and
restore the natural resources of the Gulf.  On the web at



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