To Fellow Grassroots Activists Along the Gulf of Mexico
Our little environmental group, RESTORE (Restore Explicit Symmetry To Our Ravaged Earth), founded in 1974, welcomes the new energies that are coming forward in the necessary struggles to restore public health and ecosystem vitality in our region! Sometimes in the past there have been eras of near dormancy in organized efforts along those lines. Always, though, there have been heroic individuals who, even if they were alone at first, would stand up and say: “We can do better. Something here is not right. It can and must be fixed.” That is the spirit that cannot be destroyed by adversaries who want to keep things comfortable for themselves despite the harms imposed upon other people and upon our supporting substrate, the magnificent Creation, this earthly environment that we have been given to enjoy. That spirit of hope and determination to make things right is what you all are reviving and that is a blessing for everyone! Thank you!
Photo: Michael Tritico giving a tour to Riders for the Future (source: Ride4theFuture youtube video).
I’m writing with an update on what we are up to over here in Southwest Louisiana: RESTORE, as always, monitors the happenings in the real world and those in the artificial, but crucial world of “regulatory matters.” When a neighborhood becomes afflicted by something, like recently in Lake Charles, petroleum coke dust blowing out from a place that does not even have Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) permits, we help gather information on the culprits, on the official paperwork or lack thereof, and we try to use our many years of such experiences to help the neighborhoods navigate the path toward justice. We have been deeply involved in struggles by neighborhoods such as hazardous waste issues in Bayou d’Inde, Mossville, Willow Springs, drinking water issues Beauregard Parish, and even Alsen, north of Baton Rouge (incinerator issues). Even though we are very few in number and always overreaching, beyond what is practical when we do not have resources to make things easy, we do our best with what we have.
In addition to the seemingly-never-ending messes we have had to get into, we are also trying to do innovative “positive” things such as facilitating the establishment of a Calcasieu Waterkeeper program. RESTORE is also working closely with a group of very inspiring young bicyclists, the Riders for the Future (see their website at rideforthefuture.org). While they are in the Southwest Louisiana area the last week of June and first week of July they will participate in a panel discussion, part of a Sustainability Forum, at which world-renowned ecologist John Day will present some very important information. That forum will be historic. It will occur Friday, June 28, from 1:30-3:30 P.M. in Stokes Auditorium, Hardtner Hall, McNeese State University, Sale Road and Common Street, Lake Charles. It is free and everyone is invited.
Thank you Bridge the Gulf for helping people network. Fellowship helps people get stronger and all of you know that it takes strength to do what we do!
Biologist and President of RESTORE
P.O. BOX 233
LONGVILLE, LA 70652
Michael Tritico is a retired biologist. He grew up in Lake Charles but now lives on high ground just to the north, in Beauregard Parish. In the mid-seventies he was the first Coastal Zone Manager for the Imperial Calcasieu Region (five Southwest Louisiana Parishes). Through the decades he has worked as a consultant, usually for neighborhoods afflicted by environmental degradations. He is the President of RESTORE (Restore Explicit Symmetry To Our Ravaged Earth).