Amber Robinson

Trailblazer | Conservation

Trailblazer Amberrobinson

No pun intended, but Amber Robinson is a natural for conservation. She comes by it honestly with a father from Grand Isle, a mother from Gueydan, and a childhood spent between Louisiana’s last inhabited barrier island and its coastal marshes. Robinson is amazed her love of the outdoors has turned into a career as an environmental consultant and wetland scientist with one of the largest engineering firms in the United States. “We are water people and development has changed us,” says Robinson as she describes how we have changed the environment and the effect it has had on us. One recent project brought her back to where her father grew up. In collaboration with the Nature Conservancy, Robinson and her team oversee the planting of black mangroves along the coast from Texas to Florida. On a visit to Grand Isle, she was surprised to find stands of this key plant in the fight against coastal erosion. The problem, Robinson says, is for some, it holds a negative connotation. “So much of what I do is educating people about best practices,” pointing out her strength in bringing people together, allowing for advocacy and collaboration. Robinson does this not only as a top professional in her field, but also as an engaged member of the conservation community.

Since 2019, Robinson has served as president of the Bayou Vermilion Preservation Association, a volunteer-run, nonprofit organization formed to raise awareness about issues relating to the local environment by getting people out on the water.

“Both in my job and with the BVPA, educating the public about conservation is essential,” Robinson says. “The better you know something, the more you care about it and the more you want to protect it.”

Major projects include a quarterly clean-up and planting at Beaver Park near the Lafayette airport, the River Symposium that brings together conservation experts and Reviving Resilient Landscapes, free educational workshops on how and what to plant. Teacher resources are also on the website.

Robinson, like many Acadiana residents, seems happiest when she is on the water and along the marshes. In both her professional and personal capacity, she is making sure that in spite of the enormous environmental challenges we face, we will have a healthy ecosystem to enjoy for years to come.

Categories: 2023 Trailblazers