Who has the most dangerous job in the US?

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Louisiana Update #3: Anglers, hunters crucial to rescue efforts

This was also the story after the levee breaks of Katrina; the fishers came into the city and rescued scores of people and were the “eyes on the streets” during those dark days.
During this August 2016 flood, authorities have been overwhelmed and caught by surprise by the force and treachery of the rushing water and forced to wait while fishers who know how to maneuver and how to gauge currents could begin rescues. For example, it was reported on Sunday with hundreds of people trapped on I-12 since Saturday, the Louisiana State Patrol had no water equipment to get past the water on the highway and needed to either wait for other rescuers to arrive or for the water to subside.
Just another reason to honor the rural/urban connection that has been maintained through initiatives like farmers markets.#CajunNavy

 

 

Call to arms on social media attracts 60 boats.

Jared Serigne would be the first to admit most of his Facebook interaction doesn’t involve life-or-death matters. The St. Bernard resident uses the social-media forum to share hunting and fishing information with a network of “friends,” many of whom he’s never even met.

But the Hurricane Katrina survivor knew things were going to be different when he signed into the site Saturday morning.

“I woke up and saw one report of people flooded in Zachary, and I knew then it was going to be bad, so I made the decision to go,” Serigne said.

Serigne hitched up his boat, and prepared to kiss his wife and young son goodbye, but before he did, he put up a post on Facebook, letting his friends know his plans.

Within minutes, he was bombarded by messages, texts and emails from close buddies and mere Facebook friends who wanted to join his effort. Many were from St. Bernard, but others from Houma and Thibodaux joined the mission.

In all, Serigne’s call to arms attracted 60 South Louisiana residents willing to tow their boats into a dangerous situation to ease the suffering of their fellow men and women.

nola.com

See an American town that’s about to be completely lost to climate change.

The Jean Charles band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw lived in the same place for more than 200 years. But now it’s almost entirely washed away.

By the middle of the 20th century, there were nearly 400 people living on the island. At that point, the land was 11 miles long and five miles wide — providing this Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe with 55 square miles of lush, open land on which to hunt, farm, and thrive.

But all that’s left today is a half square mile of marshland — two miles long and a quarter-mile wide — with two dozen families struggling to survive. The island’s remaining residents still speak their own colloquial French-Cajun dialect and work as fishermen, oystermen, and fur trappers to survive. But ecological damage has made that work hard to come by too.

 

As oyster season revs up, new type of Gulf oyster turning heads in New Orleans 

When ecological concerns force new ideas, direct relationships make those ideas able to be introduced and tested in a simple and effective way:

Local awareness of off-bottom oysters got a boost in July when the Crescent City Farmers Market hosted a special event with a new producer, Grand Isle Sea Farm, which dished out sample crates of its harvest to local chefs.

Source: As oyster season revs up, new type of Gulf oyster turning heads in New Orleans

Crescent City Farmers Market | 2015 Lenten Louisiana Seafood CSF

New Orleans, of course, has a Community Supported Fisheries program at their markets which is a byproduct of the White Boot Brigades that the organization ran pre and post Katrina to help fishermen sell more catch at the height of season. We (we because I was staff back then) first heard about CSF programs from (if memory serves) the Los Angeles chef Mary Sue Milliken at a Share Our Strength Rebuilding New Orleans discussion at the French Market in 2006. And, of course, the New Orleans CSF program runs through Lent-so clever.Crescent City Farmers Market | 2015 Lenten Louisiana Seafood CSF.

Louisiana Eats on seafood issues

Slow Food maven, radio host and author Poppy Tooker did a great show on seafood on Louisiana Eats: Gerard Maras (a giant among chefs in New Orleans) shared his boiling technique, Tenney Flynn who is still the best seafood chef in the French Quarter, talked about fish handling and finally Poppy and her guests discussed the ecological issues facing the harvesting community. Seafood is something Poppy knows a great deal about-she is a fisherwoman herself and one of the champions of fishing families in Louisiana and across North America.

Can you remember to mark “listen to Louisiana Eats” to your Saturday calendar? I’d recommend it.

The Ebb And Flow Of Louisiana Seafood | WWNO.

Turkey Creek

In case some of us forget from time to time that what we are fighting for is local sovereignty in order to save, rebuild or create our own healthy systems, and that environmental justice MUST be included into our scope of work, this may help:

COME HELL OR HIGH WATER: The Battle for Turkey Creek – TRAILER (1 MIN.) from Leah on Vimeo.

Derrick often recites a warning that his mother gave him when he began fighting to protect his community of Turkey Creek: “There might not be any bottom to this.” A dozen years later, her words hold special meaning for both of us. My film documents what seems like an unrelenting assault on this historic African American community on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, and it continues to this day. When I began filming, the precious place of Derrick’s childhood memories and family oral history was being overrun by urban sprawl, and then came Hurricane Katrina, and then the BP oil disaster.

SIGN UP to host a screening on April 29th or within 30 days following the premiere broadcast.
ACCESS THE FILM by finding your broadcast on a local station, or watch when it streams for free online through American ReFramed. If you are streaming it online, be sure to test your connection.

New reef rebuilt entirely to help save fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico

The Nature Conservancy is working to restore Half Moon Reef, an underwater oyster colony in the heart of Matagorda Bay, which is one of the most productive fisheries for blue crabs, oysters and shrimp in Texas.
The 45-acre Half Moon Reef will be the Conservancy’s first reef constructed from the ground up.

“Where Farmers Markets and CSAs Fall Short” An interview with Mary Berry

Be forewarned-if you know me, you are going to hear and see excerpts from this link many, many times in the future. An articulate and necessary interview with Mary Berry of the Berry Center (yes, daughter of our agrarian apostle* Wendell Berry) on the shortcomings (or pitfalls if you prefer) of our good food work so far. I think all of her points are spot on and all have potential actions to take to push forward.
In These Times

*Don’t worry-The term “apostle” is used here in the Classical Greek context of messenger. No idle idolatry intended.

Economic Opportunity Is Lowest In the Republican Bible Belt, Major Study Finds | Alternet

I suspected as much, based on the struggle that our community food systems here still have in front of them to reach any decent economic plateau. And, of course, this is another easy way to track where large swaths of institutional racism are still at work.

Economic Opportunity Is Lowest In the Republican Bible Belt, Major Study Finds | Alternet.

Organic Living at the Gardens of Eagan

The link at the bottom of this post is to an extraordinary book excerpt about the physical and emotional effects of a hailstorm by the owners of one of the first certified organic farms in the Midwest. As a market organizer that has been through my share of disaster and recovery spells, I can tell you that concern and awareness quickly fades among those not immediately affected long before the producers actually completely recover. You can see that in the annoyance on shoppers faces two or more seasons later when they inquire about their favorite products and are told that the farm is not ready to return. You can see the lack of empathy on legislators faces when they are asked what is to be done for small family farms or boats to help them rebuild. Truly, the aftermath of any disaster on any community food production needs to be shared more widely and for longer periods than it is usually.

In this passage from her book, the farmer explains beautifully what happens both to the people and the plants of her farm; the depth of emotion is naked and exposed:
This is just wrong. June is supposed to be bursting green and lush, the bounty of the universe in full evidence. This is squalor and violence. Instead of spring-fresh, the air is a stench of decay and rot. I can intellectualize. No one is hurt. We won’t starve, go broke, or lose the farm. Many plants will recover. But when I stop distracting myself and notice how I feel, I am vulnerable and exposed, like I have been beaten by a merciless sky and left to survive on my own wits. I know this is just emotion, but I feel completely isolated despite so much support. I look for reality. I know it’s out there somewhere. I can’t see it. I don’t understand the purpose. Maybe there is none. Maybe hail just exists.

Read more: http://www.utne.com/food/organic-living-gardens-eagan-ze0z1311zjhar.aspx#ixzz2jydgjt00

Organic Living at the Gardens of Eagan – Food – Utne Reader.