Catfish, Beer and Restoration

Sportsmen and legislators gather to discuss restoration projects in home parishes.

By Erin Brown Willhoft, Sportsmen Outreach Coordinator

Vanishing Paradise has been out and about this spring with some exciting community events along the coast. Read on for some highlights from these gatherings of sportsmen, representatives from Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and other groups.

We partnered with our friends at Restore the Mississippi River Delta to host a fish fry at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Violet, LA in St. Bernard Parish. 

Guests were treated to a catfish and shrimp dinner while hearing the latest on coastal projects happening in their parish, including updates on project status, funding and ongoing timelines. Project highlights include the Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion, the Biloxi Marsh Living Shoreline, Bayou la Loutre Ridge Restoration, Bayou Terre aux Boeufs Ridge Restoration and the Central Wetlands Diversion. The evening concluded with a lively Q&A session with the audience and some closing words by Father Bryan Howard about what restoring coastal wetlands means to his faith community.

Then the Vanishing Paradise team travelled down to Spigots Brew Pub in Houma to partner with our friends at Restore or Retreat for our first ever Conservation on Tap in Terrebonne Parish. 

The evening brought together sportsmen who are “coastally conscious” with Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and elected officials to discuss coastal restoration progress in Terrebonne and Lafourche. 

Darin Lee, Coastal Resource Scientist - Operations Division for CPRA, gave a presentation on barrier island restoration around Lafourche and Terrebonne.

In the crowd were students, local government leaders, sportsmen and other concerned citizens. Darin took many questions about the barrier island restoration, and then Representative Jerome “Zee” Zeringue followed up with just how important the projects in the coastal master plan are to not only his constituents, but all of Louisiana’s citizens. 

The evening concluded with guests watching the interactive “Coast 360” video, and viewing the latest video from Restore the Mississippi River Delta showing kids from coastal communities asking us to restore the coast to protect their future in Louisiana. Attendees added their names to the map and shared why coastal restoration is important to them. The map will be delivered to Governor John Bel Edwards and other government officials later this year. 

If you missed these two events, but would like to add your name to the coastal map and include why this work is so important to you, please sign on here!  Louisiana may be losing a football field of land every 100 minutes, but it only takes one minute to let your voice be heard.