The Latest Happenings
Get informed about the latest news and events shaping Plaquemines Parish.
Jewels of Plaquemines Parish
Coastal challenges threaten Fort Jackson and the Orange Festival
Looking up at Fort Jackson’s northern face on a sunny day, it’s hard to imagine water gradually submerging its twenty-five-foot-tall walls, yet according to James Madere, a Plaquemines Parish historian, that’s exactly what happened during Hurricane Katrina. The storm surge damaged the centuries-old fort’s structural integrity as well as its oak trees, electrical equipment, and Civil War artifacts. Plaquemines Parish Government—the fort’s current owner—did what it could on a limited budget to repair the building and salvage the contents, but to this day, the gates at the northern and southern entrances remain mostly padlocked shut, the gaps between the bars offering the only peek into the past...
Peace at Paloma Lake
A bucolic respite just outside the city
A triad of alligators glide across the lake, moving perfectly in tandem with the grace of prehistoric synchronized swimmers. On the opposite shore, a great blue heron stands motionless in the water, scanning the shallows for prey, ready for a lightning strike. At every turn the lake is alive, dragonflies helicoptering along the surface and a low rumble of cicadas and frogs filling the twilight air...
Fish in a Bunker
How Belle Chasse came to be the home of largest preserved fish collection in the world
On a recent afternoon in June, Dr. Brandon Ballengée, artist and biologist, led an eclectic group of art hobbyists, fish enthusiasts, and even a bee farmer on a tour of the collection. “Come visit the dead aquarium,” he joked, entering a room where millions of fish stare glassy-eyed back at the ogling group of us. The collection’s 7.4 million fish are divided into more than 200,000 lots—or groups of specimens collected at a particular place at a particular point in time. Rows upon rows of containers filled with seventy percent ethanol are stacked on nearly floor-to-ceiling shelving with just enough room in between to walk...