I am a New England girl through and through: I love fairs, lobstah, and the four seasons. I grew up on a dairy farm–riding the tractor, running through the fields, and carrying around armfuls of kittens. I have an affinity for the compact villages in deep valleys of the Green Mountains, and how Vermonters look after each other.
That said, I am itching for a little adventure and to visit a place completely different than New England: I want to go on a trip to Louisiana. My dream trip would be a cultural immersion, with visits to areas that represent various environmental issues, and policy opportunities. Below is a snap shot of my trip with links to library resources that would enhance the journey!
The Port of South Louisiana
This port handles the most tonnage in the United States and is close to rail, air, highways, and of course, is located on the mighty Mississippi. The port is also the origin of the 800+ mile pipeline which brings hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil to the midwest everyday.
This location is a hotbed of environmental issues: ballast water, and the movement of ocean-dwelling organisms via cargo boats, the dredging of water ways and the impact on ecosystems, not to mention security issues related to ports, as well as water pollution.
Go Fishing with a Local! Fishing is a big part of the culture and the economy of Louisiana, so naturally to have a full cultural experience I need to go fishing! I’d catch a ride to sea and catch fisherman about how the dead zone has impacted their catch, the sustainability of the fisheries, and other issues that impact their ability to make a living. And of course, hopefully I’ll make a big catch for myself.
Restore the Wetlands It is common knowledge that Louisiana is losing important wetlands and therefore critical wildlife habitat. I would volunteer with the Coalition to Restore Louisianan and participate in their efforts to plant trees and install sand fences to prevent the further erosion of the coastline.
Of course, I would have some more traditional fun while I am in Louisiana: eat a po’boy, go to a crawfish boil, and dance to some Cajun music!
If I don’t come back to Vermont, you will know where to find me.