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Justin Ehrenwerth, CEO/President of the Water Institute of the Gulf, speaks at the ribbon cutting for The Center for Coastal and Deltaic Solutions Tuesday Dec. 12, 2017, in Baton Rouge, La. The 34,000 square foot building is to be the hub of the Water Campus. ItÕs the structure right on the Mississippi River just south of the I-10 bridge.

I write to express my gratitude to the Baton Rouge community for the success of the first annual Ten Across Water Summit, which was held on May 16 and 17 and attended by visitors from across the country and the globe. The setting on the banks of the Mississippi River could not have been more compelling, especially given the subject matter.

The new Center for Coastal and Deltaic Studies building is world-class, as is the spectacular model of the Mississippi River Delta at LSU’s Center for River Studies. These projects clearly demonstrated to all the attendees why your city will be one of the leading players as the issue of water becomes ever more important.

The Ten Across initiative is focused on the critical topics of our time, especially as they impact the major cities along the I-10 corridor from Los Angeles to Jacksonville. Baton Rouge and New Orleans are significant urban points on this 2,400-mile transect, as is Phoenix, where I am based. While our landscapes and climates are very different, the Ten Across Water Summit illustrated how much we do have in common and the value of sharing ideas, data, and strategies for improving the quality of life for all of our citizens.

We want to offer our appreciation to our remarkable partners and hosts at the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and The Water Institute of the Gulf for all they did to make your city the obvious place to launch the Ten Across project nationally. We are also indebted to Gov. John Bel Edwards and Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome for the gracious welcome they offered to our guests.

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Next year’s Ten Across Water Summit will be hosted in Phoenix, but we are already looking forward to our return to Baton Rouge in 2020. Thank you for providing a wonderful setting for such important conversations and partnerships.

Wellington Reiter

senior adviser to the president, Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona