Reports From the Field – Livable Futures in the Land of Many Voices

Reports From the Field – Livable Futures in the Land of Many Voices

The Choctaw name for New Orleans translates to “The place where many languages are spoken,” according to Monique Verdin, photographer, activist and member of the Houma Nation. But this land of many voices is slowly disappearing as the Louisiana coast loses approximately one football field worth of ground each hour and the coastal communities continue to exist under threat of hurricane storm surges rushing up canals and over the land. Yet, every eight square miles of wetlands reduces a hurricane’s storm surge by one foot, according to Britt Aliperti, the program manager at Common Ground Relief, an organization now devoted to wetlands restoration at the mouth of the Mississippi River and the generous host of The Ohio State University’s first Livable Futures Louisiana Field School, which this year comprised of eight undergraduates, two graduates and two faculty: Thomas Davis (Dept. of English) and Mary Thomas (Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies).