On the one year after Nicholls State University and the bayou region of Southeast Louisiana saw detrimental damages from Hurricane Ida, the school released a film trailer for their documentary film that will cover the storm, damages, and Nicholls’ response to it, according to this news report. The documentary is titled Washing Away, and while it’s set to release sometime in Fall 2022, there is a limited amount of information on the project outside of the eye-opening footage and scope on display in the trailer, which can be viewed here. Posted alongside the trailer on Nicholls State University’s social media feeds, the school said, “on the one-year anniversary of this devastating storm, we remember the events and take a look forward at how Nicholls State University is working to mitigate coastal land loss. This trailer gives a glimpse at the full documentary to be released in Fall 2022.”
The two-minute and thirty-second trailer was able to give a glimpse at the soon-to-come documentary that will be released later this year. The documentary was made possible by a grant from the Bayou Community Foundation, the charitable foundation that’s been “solely focused on building and sustaining the communities of Lafourche Parish, Terrebonne Parish, and Grand Isle” for the past ten years.
The documentary trailer, which has generated a lot of comments from Nicholls alumni on the ground-shaking impact of Hurricane Ida, the fifth-largest storm to ever hit the United States, made on the region, called for submissions of footage of all types to be included in the film on the Coastal Center’s documentary web page. The post asked for those who “have extraordinary videos, drone footage or photographs of the damage Hurricane Ida brought, [to] please consider submitting them to be included in the project.”
After Ida, the second-most damaging hurricane to hit Louisiana hit the region hard, approximately two-thirds of the Nicholls State University community had reported that their homes were damaged, and one-fifth reported that their homes were destroyed or made to be uninhabitable. Furthermore, according to Nicholls, “more than half of our students reported their families lost access to reliable income.”
Nicholls, which has a student body that’s 90% consisting of Louisiana students, has over half of its total student body residing in Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes, making most of the University’s students’ family homes affected by the storm in one way or another. With an over-arching impact of such magnitude, Nicholls and the surrounding community saw it upon themselves to take action to assist those who were heavily impacted.
One of the major avenues to recovery was the assistance from the Nicholls Campus Emergency and Hurricane Relief Fund, which was able to “invite students who lost their homes to the storm to move into campus residence halls and access meal plans at no cost. About 180 moved on campus.” This was of vital importance because it was learned through several surveys sent out by the university that over 1,400 students reported that their major struggles during the aftermath of Hurricane Ida were food insecurity, seeking shelter, gasoline, and money. Many students were even forced to drop out of school in order to rebuild their homes and care for family members.
Outside of showcasing the conditions of Hurricane Ida’s impact and recovery efforts, the Wasting Away documentarywill aim to show what’s in store for just how Nicholls will be working through their Coastal Center to mitigate land loss. This will be especially important as the Terrebonne Basin currently has the highest rate of coastal land loss in the state of Louisiana with a total of over 30,000 acres of wetlands being lost since 1932.
Nicholls’ Coastal Center’s groundbreaking is currently slated for early 2023, and the $21 million project will be used as a collaborative space for “scientists from all over the state and beyond, including those from CPRA, the Water Institute of the Gulf, and Nicholls Biological Sciences and Geomatics departments, to collaborate and advance research to repair and rebuild the state’s receding coastline” as well as preserve and protect the Louisiana coast from future storms.
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