Bayou Farewell is part travelogue, part cultural study, and also a well-researched plea for the preservation of an entire ecosystem and way of life. When Mike Tidwell first ventured south of New Orleans, he knew nothing of the continuous destruction of the bayous. Only when he sees “tree cemeteries” — clusters of dead trees in multiple feet of water that mark disappeared land — does he begin to understand the steady land loss occurring in one of America’s most important marsh systems. Published in 2003, Bayou Farewell is also a chilling, prophetic account of the devastation that Hurricane Katrina delivered just two short years later.
“It’s no wonder car license plates in Louisiana today still bear the motto ‘Sportsman’s Paradise.’ For people who live directly off the land, that’s just another way of saying ‘place of plenty.’ And for the past two hundred years, South Louisiana has been exactly that; it’s been the quasi paradise those original Loudunais peasants dreamed of when they left France so many generations ago, enduring famine, war, shipwreck, persecution, and endless humiliations along the way before their progeny, at long last, settled here and prospered here, in Louisiana, across this vast and fertile coast, across this New Acadia. This promised land.”
Mike Tidwell is an author, documentary filmmaker, and the founder and director of the Chesapeake Climate Outreach Network. His books include Bayou Farewell, The Ravaging Tide, and Amazon Stranger.
Length: 384 pages
Set in: Louisiana, United States
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