We are excited to have a special video edition for today’s Wednesday Why from a special group of folks.
In the fall of 2010, Diane Huhn, Bayou Grace Volunteer Coordinator, traveled to New Orleans to present to a team of volunteers from All Saints’ Episcopal Church and St. James Cathedral in Chicago. The team was serving with Episcopal Community Services in their ongoing efforts dating back to 2006 to help community members to rebuild from Hurricane Katrina. As Diane explained to the team how land loss was impacting the communities of south Louisiana and making them more and more vulnerable to storm events and other environmental disasters, she was pleased to be met with thoughtful questions, discussion and concern for our bayou residents.
Shortly thereafter, the team reached out to us to include Bayou Grace as a recipient in an upcoming fundraiser called Gumbo Stomp that they were planning to raise money for their next trip and for the organizations they work with in south Louisiana. The team also informed us that they wanted to spend part of their next mission trip working with us in our bayou communities. We had a great time working with the team in the fall of 2011, had a blast traveling to Chicago to be part of Gumbo Stomp 2012, and were thrilled to welcome the crew back to the bayou last week for another round of hard work and wonderful fellowship.
After spending several days helping homeowners in Braithwaite impacted by Hurricane Isaac gut their water-logged and mud-laden homes, the group arrived down the bayou on Wednesday in time to enjoy some terrific jambalaya cooked up by bayou chef extraordinaire Kevin Henry at our community dinner in Chauvin. Everyone at the dinner enjoyed learning about environmental justice issues in south Louisiana from our good friend Patty Whitney with the Bayou History Center and BISCO.
The next morning the crew was up bright and early to head to LUMCON to board boats headed to West Raccoon Island. Like most of our barrier islands, Raccoon Island has been battered by recent storms. After learning about the task at hand by Joe Dantin, Matt Benoit and Dean Blanchard, our experts and partners at the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program, the team got down to business planting Railroad Vine and Bitter Panicum to help shore up the shore.
After a long, hot day the team was victorious in planting over 4,000 plants and ready for some much-deserved R&R. And Bayou Grace Board President, Mike Pellegrin, had just the ticket on ice…
…and boiling up for them.
On Friday the team headed back to LUMCON to board the R/V Acadiana for an adventurous day learning more about our highly productive, but highly threatened, estuary. Under the watchful eye of our expert captain, Captain Carl Sevin, and knowledgeable guide, Nicole Cotten, the team trawled for interesting critters and crustaceans and did a sediment grab to explore what lurks below the bay floor.
And for a little lagniappe, the dolphins and birds put on a magnificent show…
…including this magnificent Magnificent Frigatebird.
We sincerely thank the All Saints’ Krewe for their dedication, passion and sweat and we can’t wait to do it all over again. Merci beaucoup mon cher amis! Laissez les bon temps roulez!
To see more photos from the team’s adventure, click here.
If you would like to schedule a Louisiana Estuary Volunteer Experience, contact us at email@example.com or 985-594-5350.