Andrew Barron

Barataria•Terrebonne National Estuarine Program (BTNEP)

We went to Thibodaux, Louisiana to Nicholls State University where we met Andrew Barron at the Barataria•Terrebonne National Estuarine Program (BTNEP). Both and his colleague Dean Blanchard ( not the Shrimp broker from Grand Isle) spoke to us about the decimation of the marshlands of Southern Louisiana, by the oil industry’s cutting of canals and the group’s advocacy for reparations of this vital national resource. Andrew is of Cajun ancestry, has a vast knowledge of hydrological systems of the Deltaic region of the Mississippi and the Atchafalaya River basins and is passionate about the need for the rest of the country to understand the interconnected nature of river systems and their fragile states. “The question is: is that accounting system–that perception of the value of these wetlands–is that going to change fast enough to make effective restoration. Because we do need a societal change, not just a few individuals here and there….” Under the effective leadership of Kerry St Pe, BTNEP is on the front lines of this battle, advocating for more funding for coastal restoration in a place so fragile it is known as the fastest disappearing landscape in America. In the short span of seventy years, man has destroyed what took nature 7,000 years to build. Today, they are pleading for the nation to repay a debt to a place that has lost their home which they sacrificed for the growth of the country. Now, with the impending “extinction event” they are even more desperate.


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