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BISCO Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing 406 West Second Street Thibodaux, LA 70301 985-227-9042 Bayou History.

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Presentation on theme: "BISCO Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing 406 West Second Street Thibodaux, LA 70301 985-227-9042 Bayou History."— Presentation transcript:

1 BISCO Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing 406 West Second Street Thibodaux, LA 70301 985-227-9042 Bayou History Center, Inc. Thibodaux, LA 70301 985-859-3214

2 Presented at the HBCU Climate Change Conference Dillard University April 5, 2013 New Orleans, Louisiana

3 Climate Change in Coastal Louisiana from a Community Perspective Patty Whitney - BISCO

4 Coastal Louisiana is unique !

5 Our landscape is stunning !

6 Our wildlife is unusual !

7 Our people are diverse !

8 Our Celebrations are Varied !


10 Our houses are different !


12 And have been for centuries !

13 Our food is delicious !

14 Our Symbols Are Famous !

15 The Symbol of Louisiana

16 The River Built the Land !

17 The land is sinking

18 The Sea is Rising !

19 Storms are Stronger Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Rita

20 And Occur More Often Hurricane Gustav Hurricane Ike

21 Pollution Abounds BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster River Flooding Mississippi River Spring Flooding

22 Our population has culturally and historically been voiceless. Ancestors who settled in this hostile environment centuries ago were people who had been kicked out, starved out, sold out or cheated out of many other places around the world.

23 Native Americans displaced farther and farther south Acadians expelled from their country by force Africans sold into slavery and shipped to America

24 People of multiple ethnicities populated the area: Native Americans French peasants and orphans Canary Islanders “Islenos” African slaves German peasants Acadian exiles “Cajuns”

25 Wealthier, more powerful people settled on the high lands next to the waterways. Poorer, less powerful people were pushed farther away from the waterways and into the wetter, lower lands and nearer the coast.

26 Coastal Louisiana is a “Regional Environmental Justice Community”


28 Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

29 It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.

30 What Makes An E J Community? A unique physical environment Natural Resources that make the area ripe for exploitation and abuse An unsophisticated and voiceless population via: – Minority Ethnicity Status – Lack of Wealth – Lack of Education – Government corruption and/or ineffectiveness

31 E J Communities shoulder a bigger share of dangers and damages in the exploitation of shared natural resources than other communities.

32 Education for these populations was either forbidden, insufficient and poorly funded, or not significantly valued by cultures or governmental leaders.

33 Those who could read and write ended up with most of the assets, while those who could not read and write ended up with little or nothing.

34 E J Communities usually develop laws designed to keep the general public, especially the poor and disenfranchised, from receiving a quality education.

35 Wealth and/or Education Affects… An individual’s or family’s ability to prepare for, respond to, or recover from a disaster; i.e., – Evacuate – Secure food, shelter, supplies, transportation… – Clean up – Rebuild or rehabilitate – Mitigate for future disasters A community’s ability to protect themselves from environmental injustices

36 Location affects impacts from climate changes. Poorer communities are more vulnerable to changes because in a delta they are located closer to the coast and in wetlands.

37 Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana


39 What Must Be Done ? EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE… – Learn more about what is happening around you – Learn more about how to go about changing things – Learn more about searching for “the big picture” – Attend public and governmental meetings – Read, read, read – Teach your family and friends what you’ve learned – GET INVOLVED !! It’s our grandchildren’s futures!

40 For More Information Contact Us At Bayou History Center, Inc. Patricia Whitney, Executive Director 985-895-3214 BISCO Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing Sharon Gauthe, Executive Director 985-227-9042

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