CSED has partnered with Tulane City Center to create an outdoor wetland education center on two of our lots at Florida & Caffin Avenues. The project aims to raise awareness of coastal restoration efforts by creating a K-12 environmental learning space that will include exhibits on local plants, outdoor classroom space, a bio swale and rain garden, and access to kayaks that will encourage hands-on learning directly adjacent to the Bayou Bienvenue Triangle. The existing cypress and red maple trees, the community orchard and the butterfly island will remain and be enhanced.
19 posts categorized "Gulf Restoration"
From Wildlife Promise
New Orleans’ Central Wetlands were once a flourishing cypress swamp, home to a dizzying array of fish and wildlife, including alligators and hundreds of species of migrating birds. An easy drive from downtown, the Central Wetlands were also a haven for locals, who often hunted or fished for food in its waters.
Today the Central Wetlands are an open expanse of saltwater, punctuated only by the stumps of dead cypress trees. READ MORE >>
By Neela Banerjee
Reporting from Venice, La. — On an unseasonably warm winter morning, Earl Armstrong Jr. eases his airboat out of the slip, past a fishing crew hacking up a shark on the pier and a canal strung with hunting camps on stilts, into the broad waters of West Bay.
Armstrong, 67, kills the airboat's engine and, looking around, remembers a place nothing like this one.
"You couldn't travel through here before by boat," he says, looking at the vast water broken by a couple of small, grassy islands. "Used to be woods here when I was little, that's how thick it was. The grown-ups used to scare us by telling us there were tigers and lions up in here, but we came anyway.
The sea took the forests and marshes of West Bay, leaving mostly open water, as it has along hundreds of square miles of Louisiana's coastline over the last century. But now Louisiana may be about to embark on a highly ambitious project to keep its coast from slipping further underwater, and even restore some of it. READ MORE >>
John Taylor was ten when he first explored Bayou Bienvenue in New Orleans.
"What I found was a special place; the bayou was full of plants and animals to learn about and quiet spots to think in," recalls John, a volunteer with the Sierra Club Environmental Justice Program in Louisiana.
"I've spent the last 50 years visiting the bayou near my home in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, and every year it disappears a little more - today, what was once a healthy cypress forest is now just open water."
John said it wasn't until Hurricane Katrina that he and others fully realized how the bayou had changed over the years. With the bayou's forest gone, Lower Ninth Ward residents and property were exposed to the storm’s full fury of rising flood waters that left lasting devastation.
Then only a few years later, the BP oil disaster set in motion a chain of events that further damaged Louisiana and the Gulf Coast's coastal marshes and waters.
John's New Orleans neighborhood continues to work to restore Bayou Bienvenue as other communities throughout the Gulf struggle to recover from the devastating impacts of the spill, all while BP continues to enjoy record profits. READ MORE >>
What a thrill it was for CSED to be recognized by an organization as well known and well respected as the Sierra Club. And it was an honor and delight to not only meet Michael Brune and Robin Mann but the board members of both the Sierra Club and the Sierra Club Foundation as well. The highlight for me was receiving the award out on the Bayou Bienvenue Triangle Platform where so many events, press conferences and influential people have gathered. This platform, built from the desire of the community to be reconnected to the water, shows how great collaborations can bring a project to fruition in situations where very little progress was originally anticipated. In partnership with the Sierra Club, the University of Wisconsin biology students, University of Colorado at Denver design students, Common Ground volunteers, CSED staff, residents and local carpenters, this platform has become a symbol of the ‘can-do attitude’ of one small community. Used daily by residents and visitors alike, the platform is a vital link for our community to the wetlands that border our neighborhood.
If you have not been to this special site within the Lower 9th Ward, it is located at the end of Caffin and Florida Avenue. If you come early in the morning you may, by chance, run into local resident John (Swamp Red) Taylor. John not only maintains the site for CSED but he is an endless wealth of knowledge about the wetlands and how it used to be when he was a coming up.
Left: John Taylor with young gator at site
Right: Bayou Bienvenue Triangle Platform