By Tara Bennett
The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) will celebrate the beauty of Louisiana’s coastline with its special event, “Party For the Coast.”
Highlighting Louisiana culture, food and fun, the event will be held at The Varsity Theatre on Sunday, March 22 from 3-8 p.m. The event is held as an opportunity to raise awareness of the fading coastal region and will be the first Party For the Coast in Baton Rouge.
“It was time for us to really branch out and bring the problem and bring our solution to the capitol area to understand that this is a statewide issue,” said CRCL Communications Director Jimmy Frederick. “It doesn’t just effect people dealing with land loss down on the coast.”
According to the CRCL website, Louisiana has lost an average of 34 square miles of land, primarily marsh, per year for the last 50 years. In the year 2000, Louisiana lost roughly 1900 square miles of land, almost an area equal to the size of Delaware. If these trends continue, Louisiana could potentially lose approximately 700 additional square miles of land, or an area about equal to the size of the greater Washington D.C. – Baltimore area, in the next 50 years.
“We lose about a football field of land every hour,” said Frederick. “Sixteen square miles doesn’t necessarily translate into people’s minds, so I’ve translated it into almost 800 Superdomes stacked side by side in terms of area loss each year.”
The CRCL is Louisiana’s longest-standing organization committed to the protection and restoration of a sustainable coast. Founded in 1988, CRCL is a non-profit comprised of diverse coastal citizens who share a passion for the coastal region of Louisiana. According to Frederick, all proceeds from the event go towards benefitting the CRCL to help put on the Habitat Restoration program.
“The main thing is this event is going to bring some awareness,” said Frederick. “We’re going to be able to explain to people why we all need to be involved and we all need to thinking about how we are going to correct this problem in the near term and long term. I think it’s going to be a great way for everybody to come together and have a blast. I can’t imagine a better way to talk about an issue than to have a great Louisiana party.”
Headlining the entertainment for the event will be New Orleans funk and jam band Dumpstaphunk, playing at 6 p.m. following an opening act by rock band Hazy Ray at 4 p.m. Led by Ivan (son of Aaron) Neville, this funk band features old-school social conscience with some rockin’ hard grooves. Dumpstaphunk stands out among New Orleans’ best as one of the funkiest bands to ever arise from the Crescent City, combining ingenious musicianship and complex funk and jazz arrangements with soulful melodies that are simple enough for anyone to enjoy.
“They’re going to put on a great show at The Varsity,” said Frederick.