Scottee Cantrell and Nancy Kelly from the Nicholas School are down in the bayou this week catching up on the summer fun!
Scottee and Nancy from the Nicholas School Office of Marketing and Communications team are here to interview us about our summer internship experiences. They also planned last year’s visits by Nicholas School Dean Bill Chameides and other school officials after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which led to our project and the DukeEngage program here this summer.
We spent yesterday at the beautiful bayou childhood home of Rebecca Templeton of Bayou Grace learning how to cook jambalaya and exploring the huge property. This included Rebecca’s son Jacob driving us around on tractors and playing “tickle the alligators” in the bayou with reed grass (at one point we saw nine alligators).
Rebecca’s son Jacob and daughter Avery interviewed their grandfather, Thaddeus Pellegrin, last year about his life as a shrimper in coastal Louisiana on the NRDC website’s “Stories from the Gulf: Living with the BP Oil Disaster.” Mr. Pellegrin speaks of a unique way of life that will be lost as coastal Louisiana continues to disappear.
Our group is incredibly grateful for the opportunity this summer to meet Rebecca’s wonderful family, and for all the hospitality everyone down the bayou has shown us. We have gotten to listen to the stories of the bayou people, and have really become a part of this community for the past two months.
Today we headed back to the barrier island Grand Isle to spend the day with Jean and Seth of the Louisiana Nature Conservancy.
We toured the island and the 3.4 miles of oyster reef that TNC began restoring in April, 2010. Because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the reef is not expected to be completed until later this year.