Chalmette High School and Nunez Community College each accepted $4,945 at a check presentation held at Chalmette High School on Friday, November 22, 2019 from Cook-Off for the Coast, a culinary experience and community event held to raise awareness and support coastal restoration efforts.
In partnership with Vanishing Paradise, Restore the Mississippi River Delta, Meraux Foundation, St. Bernard Parish Coastal Division and St. Bernard Parish Tourist Commission, the Cook-Off for the Coast: Wild Game was held on February 9, 2019 at the Meraux Foundation’s Docville Farm. A total of $9,980 was raised at the 2019 cook-off. Each year the Cook-Off for the Coast
benefits coastal restoration projects supported by local schools and organizations. This year’s programs include the St. Bernard Parish 4H Black Mangrove Program and the Chandeleur Sound Living Shoreline Program, supported through a joint partnership with Chalmette High School and Nunez Community College.
The St. Bernard Parish 4H Black Mangrove Program was initiated in 2016 to expand the reach of healthy black mangroves stands in the Biloxi Marsh and to educate local youth on the benefits of revegetation. The Chandeleur Sound Living Shoreline Program was designed and permitted in 2018 to reduce wetland erosion by constructing oyster reef breakwaters. Since these programs were formed, approximately 6,000 black mangroves have been potted, 4,250 mature mangroves have been planted, 20 oyster cages have been produced, and the first cages will be deployed in the spring of 2020.
“We all love to gather around to enjoy Louisiana’s music and cooking, and Cook-Off for the Coast provides a one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience for the community to be informed and in turn, support a great cause,” said Sportsman Outreach Coordinator for the National Wildlife Federations Vanishing Paradise program Erin Willhoft.
The Cook-Off for the Coast is a regional, annual fundraiser to raise awareness about Louisiana’s land loss crisis, the urgent need for coastal restoration and to raise funds needed to support coastal restoration projects. Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost about 1,900 square miles of land into open water and the coastline continues to disappear at a rate of one football field every 100 minutes. To reduce land loss and protect communities, the Cook-Off for the Coast supports large-scale restoration projects, along with coastal protection and community resilience measures.
“We are pleased to partner on the Cook Off for the Coast and support programs that are rebuilding our coast,” said Rita Gue, the president of the Meraux Foundation. “We are so proud of the students at Chalmette High and Nunez Community College for their work, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to this year’s Cook Off in February to raise funds to help save our coast.”
The 2020 Cook-Off for the Coast is planned for Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 11a.m – 3p.m. at Docville Farm in St. Bernard Parish, where 18 local cooking teams will compete in a wild game cooking competition featuring Louisiana’s wild bounty – water, air and land. To add to the excitement, a new student category will be added to the cooking competition. Cook-Off for the Coast is free and open to the public. Attendees can also enjoy a cash bar from Pirogue’s Whiskey Bayou, a favorite watering hole in Arabi. All proceeds from the 2020 cook-off will benefit the Chandeleur Sound Living Shoreline Program.