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Savoie Retires as Cameron/Calcasieu Extension Agent

Photo: Kevin Savoie

After 32 years as the Louisiana Sea Grant/LSU AgCenter marine extension agent for Cameron and Calcasieu parishes, Kevin Savoie is retiring this spring.

As a native of Cameron Parish, Savoie was the ideal candidate to be the second person to hold the extension agent position for the southwest parishes. He was already invested in the community, and once an extension agent, he hit the ground running working with the commercial and recreational fisheries sectors, on ecotourism, hurricane recovery, marine debris clean-up, as well as invasive species eradication – particularly giant salvinia in southwest Louisiana. He wrote hundreds of articles and press releases on natural resources, coastal ecology, biology and fisheries and wildlife management.

“You must be invested in the community in such a dynamic environment,” said Ken Roberts, retired LSU AgCenter associate vice chancellor and associate director of extension. “Kevin had the gumption to be the ideal agent, an outdoorsman with a professional degree. He always kept a level head in the face of adversity and focused on the science.”

Photo: Kevin Savoie

Savoie served the Cameron and Calcasieu communities through multiple major hurricanes, aiding in their recovery while at times needing to rebuild his own home. He was instrumental in developing response and recovery guidelines for major disasters, and tackled challenges with gusto – doing things because it was right, not just because it had to be done.

In 2007, he was a co-recipient of the Superior Outreach Award from the National Assembly of Sea Grant Extension Program Leaders for his response and continuing recovery work following Hurricane Rita.

Although he predominantly worked with the commercial seafood industry, Savoie also took time to work with students, educating 4-H youth about coastal ecology, fisheries and natural resources, educating the public and organizing beach and coastal clean-ups. He inspired both young and old about environmental stewardship.

Photo: Ice House

“It has been my privilege to work with and learn from my friend, Kevin Savoie. His wealth of knowledge and passion for the fisheries industry over the past 32 years has been a huge asset to Cameron Parish. Kevin has led the industry through the devastation of four major hurricanes and been a calm during the storm. I am very thankful for his leadership and guidance,” said Kim Montie, Cameron Parish Port executive director.

“With more than 400 extension agents nationwide, Kevin embodies everything that you want in that position – passion, dedication, knowledge, objectivity,” said Michael Liffmann, former Louisiana Sea Grant (LSG) extension director and National Sea Grant College Program extension lead. “Personally, he’s set a tremendous example.”

“Kevin is an excellent agent who embodies the Marine Extension Program with his commitment to objectivity and science,” added Rex Caffey, current director of the LSG extension program. “His traditional ecological knowledge and institutional memory is a valuable asset for the communities he’s served.”

Once retired, Savoie said he’s looking forward to traveling and spending more time with his family and friends. He’s also proud of his numerous accomplishments while working for LSG.

“Sea Grant’s unbiased position on controversial issues, loyalty to research-based facts and science, commands a lot of respect from everyone from government officials to citizen clientele.” Savoie said. “The Sea Grant team is not only a network of coworkers, but like family in times of need.”