A ceremony was held Saturday May 13, 2023 in West St. John the Baptist Parish to recognize the National Trust of Historic Preservation’s designation of the area as one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Places.
LSUHSC Associate Professor Dr. Adrienne Katner was in attendance. Her studies show that even though most of the industry is across the river, the pollution and health impacts are drifting over to the west bank. This 11-mile stretch of river is known as the German Coast, for the European settlers who here in the 1720s, and provided food for the early settlers of New Orleans. Over the next three centuries this region, which was also heavily populated by Creoles and Cajuns, carried on their rich agricultural traditions with interwoven histories and culture.
While communities along the Mississippi River became oversaturated with heavy industry, west St. John Parish remained intact. But the area has been permitted for industrial use and as such, this culture and way of life may soon meet its imminent destruction. Residents say they already suffer health impacts from major industries that lay adjacent to this area and across the river. See some of the environmental and climate challenges the West Bank already faces.
More information from the National Trust for Historic Preservation about the 2023 America’s 11-Most Endangered Places List.
More information about the event can be found here: https://www.katc.com/news/w-st-john-the-baptist-parish-designated-one-of-americas-most-endangered-places
Other groups and individuals in attendance include Jane Boddie, the Director of Evergreen Plantation; Brian Davis, the Executive Director of the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation; Marc Morial, former Mayor of the City of New Orleans and current President of the National Urban League; and Dr. Sheila Chauvin, Professor Emerita and former Director of LSUHSC’s Office of Medical Education, Research and Development.