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The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) Public Outreach Committee is pleased to announce that the “I Remember…” art show and oral history project has moved to the National Park Service (NPS) Chalmette Battlefield.

Just downriver from New Orleans, in Chalmette, is the site of the January 8, 1815, Battle of New Orleans: Chalmette Battlefield. As historians remind us, the resounding American victory at the Battle of New Orleans became a symbol of a new idea; American democracy triumphing over the old European ideas of aristocracy and entitlement. The art exhibit’s new location prompts visitors to learn that our nation is still in a fight – this one is to protect and preserve our nation’s vanishing Louisiana coastline. The primary goal of hosting the show at the NPS Battlefield in Chalmette is to allow the public to get a view of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans and to hear the voices and see the images of the ‘2014 Battle to Save Coastal Louisiana’.

One of the most interesting ways to visit the show might be to take the Creole Queen Chalmette Battlefield river cruise excursion which leaves New Orleans at 1PM and arrives at the battlefield around 2:45 p.m. each day, Tuesday through Saturday. Through this venue people from all over the world are viewing the exhibit.

The outstanding work by nature photographer, Lane Lefort, and artist, Marian Brister Martinez in creating public awareness of the importance of wetland environmental quality and natural resource conservation has been inspiring. The show is a two part venture: oral history and art. In the oral history part of the project, 11 coastal stewards were captured with an environmental portrait and oral history interview by Lane Lefort and CWPPRA Public Outreach staff. Each person captured in this project had an exceptional wetlands tale about how the Louisiana wetlands have been a part of all of their lives. These coastal caretakers also posed for an environmental portrait in the place of their choosing. Visitors to the show at the Chalmette Battlefield can see these images and also use QR codes posted next to the environmental portraits to hear actual interview clips. Lefort also shared 10 of his gorgeous nature photographs to give national and international visitors a chance to see Louisiana’s dynamic coastal ecosystems. Martinez created 10 oil paintings that eloquently captured life along the Mississippi River from the early 1990s through 1960. Her work was designed to help tell the story of the historical human interaction with the Louisiana wetlands. The wonderful pairing of these photographs and paintings, which includes a total of 30 pieces of art, provides the public with a unique way to interact with the most special organisms that inhabit the wetlands – people. Years of experience were chronicled between the story tellers’ tales, photos, and paintings all in an effort to communicate the story of living along a Louisiana’s fragile coastline and our strong desire to win the battle against land loss through coastal restoration.

The NPS Chalmette Battlefield is a free public venue. The visitor’s center which is hosting the exhibit is open Tuesday- Saturday 9AM to 4PM. The show will remain at the NPS Chalmette Battlefield until March 7, 2014.

The entire oral histories can be accessed online at the LaCoast.gov website link http://lacoast.gov/new/GetInvolved/OralHistory.aspx as well as links to the artists’ work.

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