Voices from the Gulf

Showing stories 601 through 610 of 774 total stories.

For more than 30 years, Sarah and her daugher Annette Rigaud owned one of the most popular eateries on Grand Isle, LA. Sarah’s Restaurant is a cozy place filled with mementoes of sun-splashed beach vacations and fishing trips. It was a prosperous business, part of a proud family lineage that dates back to the colonial days of the 1700s here. The Rigauds have endured hurricanes, droughts, disease outbreaks and pirates that once roamed these marsh-filled ocean bayous.

Then the BP oil disaster washed ashore last summer.

“My name is Sharon Hanshaw… I’m a native of Biloxi, Mississippi.  I was a cosmetologist for twenty-one years… and Hurricane Katrina hit.  Hurricane Katrina just sped my life into this whirlwind of activism.  I had no choice but to step up, and try to make sure that our voices were heard in the recovery process, now and in the future.”

In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, communities across the Gulf Coast began to meet, share experiences, and work together across previous geographic and racial divides.  Now facing new and ongoing challenges like the BP oil disaster, hurricane "recovery" efforts, and coastal land loss, these communities continue to rely on and strengthen these relationships.

More than a 100 residents from across the state filled the hearing room at the [Mississippi] State Capitol as the discussion devoted to airing longstanding grievances over deadly chemical wastes – particularly creosote – left for decades in unsuspecting residential neighborhoods by large manufacturers like Kerr-McGee that have either packed up and gone or changed their names and continue to do business as usua

Drive down this short stretch of St. Bernard Avenue, and you will see signs of a struggling neighborhood in despair. Bars, blighted homes, metal-grated storefronts, and the still-shuttered Circle Food Store tell the story of this strip.  Here in New Orleans’ 7th ward, hope and sustenance have been drained by Katrina’s floodwaters, and by decades of racism’s insidious trend of sapping vital resources from a community.

In November we reported on a new program to help low-income Mississippi residents rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina.  The program was the result of a settlement reached between a number of local housing advocates and their public-interest lawyers, the U.S.

Acy Cooper is a proud native son of Venice, LA, a storm-battered fishing and oil service town at the end of the bayou south of New Orleans.  Acy calls this "God's country," home base for some of the best shrimping and fishing in the country. This is where he cut his teeth as a commercial fisherman, just as his father did before him. But after the BP oil disaster spewed nearly 200 million gallons of crude into his fishing grounds, Acy isn't so sure what the future will bring.

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