Here in the Gulf, every day our seas are rising, our lands are sinking, and our communities face bigger and bigger flood risks.
In 2017 our communities most at risk are being declared “Resettlement Zones” by the Louisiana Office of Community Development. The recently revised Louisiana Coastal Master Plan has proposed nonstructural options for responding to these threats, including resources for voluntary buyouts from their homes and assistance with floodproofing and elevation. Gulf Restoration Network (GRN) has created a series of maps representing communities that have been declared Resettlement Zones in order to ensure that residents are prepared for the future.
These towns are anchor communities for our fishing industries and our local food production. They are not at the end of the road, they are at the beginning of the water. As the seas have risen, these communities have already adapted to elevated waters, and they will need to continue to adapt to sustain Louisiana's water economy. As the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing state: “Let the people speak for themselves.” Communities know best what they need.
Comments from the Coast is a new blog series from GRN amplifying voices from frontline communities in coastal Louisiana that want to speak out on the issues they continue to face.
This impactful series was created by Maris Jones, the Community Engagement and Outreach Fellow at the Gulf Restoration Network for Spring 2017. Born and raised in New Orleans, LA, Maris is committed to advocating for environmental and climate justice in her home state. At GRN, she works with campaign organizers on issues related to coastal community resilience and stormwater management in New Orleans. Maris graduated from Brown University in 2015, with a B.A. in Anthropology and Portuguese & Brazilian Studies. While there, she was a researcher in the Climate and Development Lab. Since graduation, Maris has worked as an experiential environmental educator in Hawai'i and Alaska.
Keep an eye out for Comments from the Coast!