Helen Rose shows off our new Defend the Gulf tee shirts at Voodoo. Now available at the Defend New Orleans store and website. I just wrapped up one of GRN's longest and most productive weekends of the year: the Voodoo Experience music & art festival in NOLA's City Park. We were honored to be the official non-profit partner for the 6th year running, and made the most of the opportunity by spreading word and generating action for the Gulf with music fans, bands, the media and anyone who would listen.
We were working hard to make sure everyone knew that on average, with every song you hear at Voodoo, a main stage sized area of coastal wetlands turns into open water: vanishing due to what we've allowed to happen to the Mississippi River Delta wetlands for energy, shipping, flood control and the nation's economic development.
By building our demonstration barrier islands, marshes & cypress swamps, we showed music Worshipers how our coastal lines of defense can help protect communities from storms and floods. Folks could get more info by watching our Short Film Showcase, or show their support by holding a sign at our photobooth, or joining GRN as a Gulf Sustainer, and picking up a sweet new tee from our friends at Defend New Orleans.
Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds rock GRN's upcoming PSA. Photo by Anthony Schoenecker Backstage, Ayn let performing musicians know the ongoing challenges facing the Gulf, and hooked them up with the Defend the Gulf tee and a chance to add their voice to ours and send a message that BP's deepwater drilling disaster isn't finished until the superpolluter is held accountable for every dollar they are supposed to pay for every drop of oil they released into the Gulf, and for every dolphin, turtle, whale or pelican their oil affected. Ayn was able to meet and work with Katy Red and great folks from Big History, Royal Teeth, Infantree, the Features, New Leviathan Oriental Fox-Trot Orchestra, Debouche, and once again, the ladies of Fleur De Tease.
Sig (Rehage Ent), John Michael Rouchell (MyNameIsJohnMichael) & GRN's Aaron Viles listen as Maya Rodriguez from WWL TV interviews musician Paul Sanchez.Big thanks to Paul Sanchez, John Michael Rouchell, Skerik, and Lady Sparrow and the Dirty Birds for taking their efforts one step further, and so clearly communicating the coastal message at our press conference Saturday afternoon.
Sunday and Monday our work continued off the Voodoo grounds, with a handful of performers joining our conservation partner Southwings and their amazing pilot Bob Kuehlthau on a restoration flyover of Southeast Louisiana's marsh. The flights were a powerful way to get a sense of what's threatening our coast by checking out oil fields, canals, the MRGO, as well as restoration initiatives such as small-scale diversions, pipeline sediment projects, and natural river distributaries. Huge thanks to Bob for the informative (and smooth) flights, and the artists for taking the time to become Gulf restoration experts and embassadors.
Thanks to Rehage Entertainment's support, a ton of folks walked away from an amazing music festival also knowing that GRN is working hard for the Gulf, and adding their voice to our call for restoration and recovery for our wetlands and accountability from BP.
Aaron Viles is GRN's Deputy Director. You can follow him on twitter here.