Friday, June 18, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Our School at Blair Grocery and young people from the national Youth Coalition for Community Action took a trip to Southern Louisiana to explore these questions in a series of conversations and experiences with members of the community and scientists doing work in the area. Our goals for the trip were to (1) establish mutually beneficial relationships between OSBG and organizations people and organizations in southern Louisiana; (2) to identify opportunities for service in in southern Louisiana that address significant community needs; and (3) to begin research into the development of a curriculum unit that addresses the ecological and social impacts of the oil spill and continued wetlands depletion.
At the Dulac Community Center we joined by Bayou Grace, an organization working to provide relief to those being impacted by the oil spill, learned about issues of land loss associated with continued wetlands depletion. We discussed the communities relationship to the oil industry and the impact of the oil spill on those working in the fishing industry - the two primary industries providing employment to those living in Terrebonne Parish - however, now much of the fishing has stopped.
We had the incredible opportunity to meet with members of the United Houma Nation and discuss both the history and current status of the community, relationships to the fishing and oil industry and challenges that lie ahead. We learned of thier plans to develop a Cajun French emersion school for native Houma children and plans to start a garden. We are excited to continue to explore opportunities to work together to support the unique and similar needs we each face in our communities.
We ended the day with a crawfish boil on the bayou, continuing to think about what we heard and learned over the day, and eager to figure out how we can support these communities in this time of need.
LUMCON provides coastal laboratory facilities to Louisiana universities, and conducts research and educational programs in the marine sciences. We had the opportunity to speak to one of the lead researchers, who gave us a tour and answered questions.
We hope to continue building our relationships with everyone we had the opportunity to meet with in Terrebonne Parish and at LUMCON.