For many people of the Delta, home is more than a house. Home is a way of life that is largely defined by the broader ecological context and a series of deep social networks. The ecological context includes the waterways and wetlands that provide diverse economic and recreational activities. The social networks are rich communities that make relocation, even in the face of repeated disaster, hard. Often, families of the Delta are sustained by vocational knowledge (i.e. fishing, oystering, and rigging) that is passed down.
Yet, generational change is happening. Inherited ways of life no longer always coincide with an increasingly global and technological context. The next generation struggles with reconciling years of tradition with new horizons. Families struggle with community identity: How can a way of life be preserved, yet adapted to new ways of working, thinking, and recreating? How can memory be passed down without being a limitation to an ever-expanding future? Our solution aims to begin to answer those tough questions.
Economically, our plan catalyzes the growth of new fields like ecotourism and delta management, while also supporting existing sectors. We want to broaden the local and regional economy so residents have more employment options. The implementation of such a bold plan will vault Louisiana into the lead worldwide in sustainable Delta management. As a catalyst for this economic development we propose Delta Discovery Centers, located near the mouth of each new sub-delta. These centers will be hubs for education, job training, research, and ecotourism.
BENEFITS TO COMMUNITIES
Greater certainty about where it is safe to live and work in the future, allowing for a more planned transition to safer areas
2 Home Program provides a means for groups to transition together, maintaining existing homes while also transitioning to safer locations
A new Delta will become “A New Wonder of the World” – ecotourism and Delta management sectors skyrocket
A more accessible Delta – for tourists and residents
Economic development generated by our plan will increase local tax bases
Restoration of the wetland landscape and associated ecosystems preserves cultural ties to Delta landscapes