Legal Network Field Trip

This report features a lot of pictures, so please excuse the length!

The Legal Network had the wonderful opportunity to take a whole-day field trip led by Don Davis, an oral historian, and Carl Brasseaux, a colonial historian. The main theme of the trip was water control – what the city has done right – and what it has done wrong. The trip began in the French Quarter, including seeing the United Fruit Company, which was a major banana importing company.

The group then began riding through some of New Orleans’s most important neighborhoods, discussing building styles and, more importantly, the different cultural, geographical, and legal reasons for the different building styles. They even had the opportunity to see Fats Domino’s recording studio.

Later, the group ventured into the Lower 9th Ward in order to view an area devastated by the levee breaches after Hurricane Katrina and where Brad Pitt’s Make it Right foundation is hard at work.

The group then headed to the Chalmette Battlefield.

After viewing one of the last FEMA trailer parks still in existence, the group headed to Theresa’s Seafood, a facility that bounced back after Katrina due to the work of many Louisiana Sea Grant employees. From there, the group was able to see just how close the marsh is to the city of New Orleans. The group then got a bird’s eye view of the engineering project that is to close off the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, part of the “funnel effect” flooding from Katrina.  

The group then headed to the Bayou Savage Ridge Trial, where they were able to enjoy the gorgeous weather and take a 0.7 mile walk into the marsh. After that, they were able to see some levee building up close on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain, as well as view the only evidence of the camps that once lined the lake – the pilings that supported them. The group discussed the political and legal reasons regarding and how the camps came to be there – as well as why they will not return.

The group headed out to view the canals and pumping stations, as well as houses where the structural integrity has been compromised by the draining of the city.

From here, the group was able to see a cypress swamp, as well as the Ormand Plantation and the Bonnet Carre Spillway, a water control device that helps reduce the threat of flooding to New Orleans from the Mississippi River.

The group finished with some fabulous ice cream from Brocato’s. My apologies to Duncan for cutting him out of the picture.

The Legal Network would like to extend a huge “Thank You” to Don Davis and Carl Brasseaux for bringing us on an amazing field trip! Merci Beaucoup Don & Carl!!!

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