4B.4 Protecting South Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana through the development of Vanishing Points: an iPhone application motivating community and national involvement in coastal restoration efforts

Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 11:45 AM
Room 18D (Austin Convention Center)
Sandra N. Maina, UCAR/FIU, North Miami, FL; and J. Foret

Southern Terrebonne parish is home to a community of people that live off of the land and water that shares a unique connection to their environment. Unfortunately, the loss of their land due to land dynamics such as subsidence, sea level rise and salt-water intrusion is seldom recognized outside the state of Louisiana. If no action is taken to save and restore the coast, it is estimated that communities along the coast will be losing a football-size piece of land every 45 minutes. The phone application Vanishing Points was developed to broaden the awareness of coastal land loss in this area. This study describes the Participatory Action Research (PAR) methods used to 1) identify the ‘Vanishing Points' - locations of cultural, personal, and historical importance as chosen by the community members, 2) determine the history and importance of these locations, 3) record personal testimonies, and 4) collect family historical pictures portraying changes both in land and use. Our study also involves creating animations of historical land loss for each location which will be incorporated in the application. Vanishing Points will bring community and national attention to the impacts of coastal and wetland loss, and encourage advocacy for the protection of the land and - culture of Southern Terrebonne parish.
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