Friday, March 15, 2013

SDI Intern Studies Ecological Recovery and Environmental Disasters

Last month SDI Intern Lloyd Frieson visited New Orleans to study ecological recovery and prevention of environmental disasters. Here he learned about harnessing science and building social resilience. As a College of Menominee Nation student, Lloyd plans on using this knowledge in Sustainable Development Institute programming. Hear from Lloyd himself on some information he'd like to share with you:

"In this photo I'm standing by a levy which stands only ten feet high and is the only defense the community has for protection against storm surges. The storm surge for Hurricane Katrina reached 21 ft. high. The community was completely under water. Some roof tops were visible and many homes floated away. Behind this wall was a forest of Cypress trees but due to the development of progress, the government thought it would be beneficial to build a canal for easier transport of sea export and import. By creating such a canal, saltwater was released into bayou where the Cypress trees lived and completely wiped them out. The forest acted as a buffer for wind and storm surge. Now the area behind this wall is known as the Ghost Forest."

"One day we did some community engagement work and visited the New Orleans lower 9th ward. Here I learned that Brad Pitt donated millions of dollars to the hard hit area of the lower nine ward in New Orleans, LA. He founded an organization called “Make It Right”. Mr. Pitt held a contest for young architecture students and chose three to design the houses to be partially sustainable. Each home has a large solar panel on the roof and a rain harvesting system to purify the water. These homes were given to the people who had homes before Hurricane Katrina. Most homes in that terrible storm were destroyed or washed away. A person can request a home that is raised six to eight feet off the ground for flooding precaution.  These homes are built to withstand 160 mph winds."

Lloyd visited New Orleans as part of ESA-SEEDS. According to their web site, SEEDs is an education program of the Ecological Society of America and their mission is to diversity and advance the ecology profession through opportunities that stimulate and nurture the interest of underrepresented students to not only participate in ecology, but to lead. 

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