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Defender Picks



August 21st

Solar Eclipse Paddle

Canoe and Trail Adventures, 10:30AM

Explore the swamps and bayou during the eclipse


Energy Clearing Class

Swan River Yoga Mandir, 7:30PM

Solar eclipse reiki course to clear your self


Monday Night Massacre

Rare Form, 8PM

Feat. Phantom of Paradise and Cannibal The Musical


Betty Who

Republic NOLA, 9PM

90's tinged Aussie artist, feat. Geographer



The New Movement, 9:30PM

Battle of the funniest 


Instant Opus

Hi-Ho Lounge, 10PM

Feat. Eric Bloom, Russell Batiste, David Torkanowsky, Chris Severin


August 22nd

Murder Ballads

Euclid Records, 5PM

Book signing with Dan Auerbach and Gabe Soria


DIY Fermented Foods

Rosalie Apothecary, 7PM

Fermented dairies, like kefire, yogurt, butter, buttermilk, and more


Stanton Moore Trio

Snug Harbor, 8PM

Galactic drummer's side project


Water Seed

Blue Nile, 9PM

Future funk stars


Treme Brass Band

d.b.a., 9PM

See the legendary band on their home turf


Rebirth Brass Band

Maple Leaf, 10PM

2 sets by the Grammy-winning brass band


Smoking Time Jazz Club

Spotted Cat, 10PM

Trad jazz masters



August 23rd

Wine Down Wednesdays

New Orleans Jazz Museum, 6:30PM

Free yogalates at the Mint


The Heart of Herbalism

Rosalie Apothecary, 7PM

Syrups and immune health


Trapper Keeper

Side Bar, 8:30PM

Local improv music duo, feat. Dr. Jeff Albert



Bar Redux, 9PM

Free screening of junkie masterpiece


Chris & Tami

The New Movement, 9:30PM

TNM's founders perform weekly free show


Vixens & Vinyl

One Eyed Jacks, 10:30PM

Burlesque dance party


August 24th

Summertime Blues

Shops at Canal Place, 5:30PM

Young professionals meet-up with blues, brews, and BBQ


Architecture & Design Film Festival Kick-Off

Contemporary Arts Center, 5:30PM

Opening night party and film


Yoga Social Club

Crescent Park, 5:45PM

Get sweaty and centered


Ogden After Hours

Ogden Museum, 6PM

Feat. Sweet Olive String Band


Ambush Reggae Band

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Local roots reggae group


Royal Teeth

Tipitina's, 9PM

Feat. Merci Raines and No True Scotsman


August 25th

Friday Nights at NOMA


Feat. The Pfister Sisters


Exotic Races

Fair Grounds, 5PM

Races feat. ostriches and camels


More Lovely and More Temperate

Valiant Theatre and Lounge, 6PM

Performance of all 154 Shakespearean sonnets


Lil' WeezyAna Fest

Champions Square, 7PM

Feat. Gucci Man, Rich the Kid, Kodie Shane, YoungBoy NBA, and Lil Wayne


Little Maker & Mr. Universe

One Eyed Jacks, 9PM

Feat. special tribute to The Band


Rocky Horror Picture Show

Prytania Theatre, 12AM

Feat. NOLA's foremost shadow cast The Well-Hung Speakers


August 26th

It's About TIME

Studio Be, 6PM

Artist conversation about oppression via symbols like the monuments


New Pride Pageant

Cafe Istanbul, 6PM

Honoring Mr & Miss New Orleans Pride 2017


New Orleans Saints vs. Houston Texans

SuperDome, 7PM

The Saints and Texans go head to head


Rick & Morty Marathon

Bar Redux, 9PM

Outdoor binge session for Dan Harmon's animated series


Swamp Motel

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Album release party for Louisiana rockers


Vox & The Hound

One Eyed Jacks, 10PM

Pop group, feat. psych band Midriff and Naughty Palace

Drilling and Able

NoDef Talks to John Barry About Coastal Restoration as "Issue of Our Lifetime"

Two Recent polls show landslide margins of public support for coastal restoration.  Within the numbers, however, is a picture of the various forces shaping the dialogue of coastal restoration. 


One of the polls, released by America’s Wetland Foundation, might well have dubbed a new catch line for the land loss fight.  74 percent of Louisianians were willing to call coastal restoration the “issue of my lifetime.”  Sidney Coffee, a senior advisor at America’s Wetland, said that in years past, the organization has found “fairly high” levels of support for the issue, “but not as high as this,” citing recent hurricanes and the BP oil spill for the heightened awareness.  Jim Kitchens, who conducted the AWF poll of 400 people across the state, highlighted the high margins found in the survey.  72 percent of those polled thought that climate change was a “serious problem” and 91 percent linked a strong coastal environment with a strong economy.  Kitchens said in an AWF press release, “When you find averages around the eighty percentiles, you better sit up and take notice.”



Another poll released last November by the Restore Louisiana Now organization showed similarly enthusiastic support for coastal restoration: 96 percent of the 1000 people surveyed agreed that Louisiana’s vanishing coast needs to be addressed.  But beyond a common acknowledgment of the problem, the two polls diverge impressively, and at times they seem to argue.  One prompt in the America’s Wetland survey read, “A unified effort is the best hope for coastal restoration and protection, not assigning blame for what has been lost.”  97 percent agreed.  Mention of “blame” could be a response to the RLN poll, which asked if “oil and gas industry contributed to the loss of natural wetlands and marshes.”  72 percent thought it had.


Another prompt in the AWF poll read: Perceived conflicts between energy production and environmental protection have become too politically divisive. To solve both problems, we need leaders to cooperate more and not engage in partisan politics. 95 percent agreed.


The poll seems to question the lawsuit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East against 97 oil, natural gas, and pipeline companies.   The suit claims that the industry’s access canals have damaged wetlands and therefore increased flood risk in metro New Orleans.  Until October, John Barry was the vice-chairman of the commission, which oversees metro New Orleans levee systems on the Eastbank.  He was ousted from that board along with two other board members who supported the lawsuit.  In response, Barry created the non-profit Restore Louisiana Now, in part to provide support for the suit.  76 percent of the public supported the lawsuit in the non-profit’s poll.


Coffee said, “As far as the lawsuit is concerned, we don’t take any side.”


But in response to the conflicts referenced in the AWF poll, John Barry said, “Of course, you need to recognize that America’s Wetland gets nearly all of its funding from the oil & gas industry.”  (In 2005 The Washington Post reported that during the Foster administration, “Shell Oil, worried about its offshore drilling platforms, put up several million dollars for a PR campaign to rebrand Louisiana's marshes as ‘America's Wetland.’")


“I agree that everyone needs to cooperate,” Barry said, “Unfortunately, the industry has not voluntarily done much.”


He then mounted a defense of the lawsuit in usual, methodical fashion: “Remember, in the permits they voluntarily agreed to restore what they damaged. State law requires them to do the same. But the oil companies haven't kept their word or obeyed the law. They want taxpayers to pay to fix what they destroyed.”


In the AWF survey, 90 percent agreed that the federal government should protect “coastal areas supplying energy to the U.S.”  It stopped short of asking whether the industry should carry financial responsibility, but 94 percent agreed that “Oil companies should cooperate with local and state governments to develop solutions to our energy and environmental problems.”


When asked how that cooperation might manifest itself, Coffee mentioned a focus group held by America’s Wetland in conjunction with the survey.   The group was representative of those polled. “They said if there are damages, then yes, they should pay,” she said.  The same group called for the administration of a pool of funds from all parties involved, including navigation, energy, and government interests.


A consensus for the long term is even less clear.  72 percent agreed in the AWF poll that climate change is a serious threat.  And 65 percent agreed that “Americans must learn to consume less of everything. It is the only way we can become energy independent and protect the quality of our environment.”  Coffee said “There’s probably a bigger disconnect between politicians and the public” when it comes to a changing climate.


Yet 84 percent in the AWF poll think that we can simultaneously drill for oil and protect the coast’s environment.  Asked about the public’s apparent ambivalence about oil, Coffee said Louisianians “want it all.”


“They want the oil industry here, and they also want a healthy environment.  And they think it’s reasonable to have both at the same time.”


When Louisiana’s coastal restoration plan was drafted during the Foster administration, it was the largest environmental initiative in the history of the country.  Coffee worked with Governor Foster in the nineties to educate a public that was largely unaware of the problem in the first place.  “The public did not understand the kind of crisis of land loss that we had here.”


The leap from general unawareness to a moniker like “the issue of our lifetime” is a giant one.   As Coffee says, the problem “has many layers to it,” and each layer is massive and intricate.  She says that things get murky when the public is confronted with some of those difficulties, like the possible impact that some initiatives can have on the oyster harvest.  She also said that questions like those in Restore Louisiana Now’s poll are often designed elicit specific responses. 


Dr. Bob Thomas, the director of Loyola’s Center for Environmental Communication, said of the polls, “I think the public understands there is a problem and that it will affect their lives.  At the same time, I don't think they understand how to make improvements happen.”


Of the two organizations’ differing messages, he said, “If they (America’s Wetland Foundation) had not gotten the money from Shell and taken all the steps they have, there are no guarantees that anyone else would have (or could have) picked up the ball at the same pace.”


“Obviously, the ties among these organizations and their combined communication efforts are quite complex.”



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