-- No area of Louisiana has been more impacted by coastal land loss than Plaquemines Parish which is always one storm away from being wiped off the map. Louisiana’s coast and land loss affects all of those in the state.
Diversions, a short documentary film produced by Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities will be shown at 6 p.m. on March 27 at the Alex P. Allain Memorial Library (206 Iberia St., Franklin). Special guest, Kerry St. Pe’, will be on hand to help discuss some of the film’s subjects.
This program is being held through a partnership between St. Mary Parish Library and the Jeanerette Museum Board of Directors as part of the local Smithsonian exhibit project, Water/Ways.
The film takes the audience on a trip through the greater Plaquemines community as we get a look at the science of diversion and the dilemmas it creates. The need to build sustainable land along the coast is dire. The CPRA is the State’s agency in charge of coastal restoration projects in South Louisiana, which is in the process of creating a sediment diversion to begin replenishing the marshlands. Not all citizens of Plaquemines Parish welcome it. Oyster farmers who make up a significant part of the population are concerned that the diversions will destroy their oyster beds, which is their livelihood. Other lifelong residents welcome this much needed effort to save their home. Many of these issues are also facing St. Mary and Iberia Parish residents.
St. Pe’ recently retired as Director of the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP), a nationally recognized effort dedicated to preserving and restoring the 4.2 million-acre area between the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers in Southeast Louisiana. He also worked for 25 years as a field biologist for the Water Pollution Control Division of the La. Dept. of Environmental Quality. His wetland restoration work has been featured in the bestselling book
Bayou Farewell, the Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana’s Cajun Coast by Mike Tidwell and most recently in the PBS documentary,
Washing Away: Losing Louisiana and the LPB documentary,
Turning the Tide.
Diversions is being held free of charge and is suitable for an adult audience, however, seating is limited. The local Water/Ways exhibit project is a part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities made possible through funding from the Walton Family Foundation.