Having experienced the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed most of my families' homes, including my father's fishing camp (pictured above), in August of 2005 and threw my hometown of New Orleans into an economic tailspin, it saddened me greatly to hear about the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Caused by a catastrophic explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling platform, this ever-expanding oil spill is on track to be the worst in history – and of course, that doesn't bode well for the state's seafood and tourism industries.
As I mentioned in a Thanksgiving post  last year, I have a particular fondness for organizations that strive to restore and preserve southeastern Louisiana’s unique ecology, which has been hit hard in recent decades by the negative impacts of levee building along the Mississippi River, oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, and storms like Hurricane Katrina. Two such nonprofit organizations come to mind: the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF)  (P.O. Box 6965, Metairie, LA 70009, 504/836-2215), which has offered some advice on how to counteract the ill effects of this horrendous oil spill, and the nonprofit New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC)  (532 Louisa Street, New Orleans, LA 70117, 504/940-5780), which is currently organizing an oil spill cleanup donation drive. (Incidentally, NOVAC is seeking the following supplies: Blue Dawn dishwashing detergent, absorbent linens, saline solution, nylon pantyhose, water, Gatorade, insect repellent, sunscreen, safety glasses, chicken boots, E-tech gloves, safety utility knives, mesh dip nets, pool cleaning nets, mosquito head nets, duct tape, and work vests.)
I'm grateful to both organizations for their tireless efforts, and I can only hope that the oil spill doesn't cause the damage and disruption that's been predicted for southern Louisiana (and the rest of the Gulf Coast). After all, this one-of-a-kind region – which boasts everything from the French Quarter  to plantations  to bountiful fishing grounds – doesn't need another setback.
As always, I’m open to ideas for future posts. If you have any suggestions, burning questions, or destinations that you’d like me to explore in greater detail, please comment below or contact me via laura [at] wanderingsoles [dot] com.
Photo / Text © 2010 Laura Martone