Released Fall 2010
Everywhere you look in Southern Louisiana there’s water: rivers, bayous, swamps, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico. And everyone in Cajun Country has a water story, or two or three or more. Its waterways support the biggest economies in Louisiana – a $70 billion a year oil and gas industry, a $2.4 billion a year fishing business, tourism and recreational sports. They are also home to some insidious polluters: the same oil and gas industry, 200 petrochemical plants along a 100-mile-long stretch of the Mississippi known “Cancer Alley,” the world’s largest Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico and erosion that is costing the coastline twenty five square miles of wetlands a year. At the same time, SoLa is home to one of America’s most vital and unique cultures; if everyone who lives there has a water story they can also most likely play the fiddle, waltz, cook an étoufée and hunt and fish.
SoLa, Louisiana Water Stories is a poignant look back at a way of life on the eve of the BP Spill of 2010, which may now be gone forever. It is also a prescient look at exactly how the gusher that so badly polluted the Gulf of Mexico was allowed to happen. Thanks to corruption, malfeasance and the Louisiana industrial and political climate, environmental degradation seems to be simply another cost of doing business.