Journalist Lorena O'Neil is reporting on the Indigenous people living on Louisiana's rapidly disappearing coast. The consequences of coastal erosion, plus the intense destruction caused by large hurricanes like Ida, mean that their ancestral homes are vanishing. As they struggle for federal acknowledgement and resources, they are running out of time to restore the coast.
For centuries, the coastal tribes have adapted to life in a constantly shifting environment and they have relied on their traditional ecological knowledge to guide them. Now, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles, they hope to share that knowledge and convince others to heed their advice before it is too late. As the smaller tribes come together to pool their efforts and strengthen their voices, will they be able to make others listen and take action?
O'Neil is reporting on these efforts as part of Rolling Stone magazine’s annual climate issue, which in 2023 focuses on “The Fight for the Planet.” She will also be doing follow-up climate and disaster justice articles for the Louisiana Illuminator.