Grand Isle could become a magnificent artist colony. It has spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico and the Barataria Basin just north of it.
And above that is St. Charles Parish, which also enjoys many of those picturesque views of Louisiana’s spectacular wetlands.
But now that those wetlands are rapidly turning into open water due to our government’s slowness in saving Mother Nature’s beautiful natural resources, it is all the more important to turn our picturesque landscape into pieces of art so people away from here can see what we are losing and join in the effort to save it. Such is the purpose of the Grand Isle Juried Fine Art Exhibition to be held April 10 - 17 at the Grand Isle Community Center. Sponsored by Grand Isle Community Development team, Inc., it seeks to raise awareness for the need to protect and nurture the island for future generations of fishermen, artists, visitors, birders and the flora and fauna that attract them to the island.
And so it goes for the rest of the Barataria Basin, which includes St. Charles.
If we can show Grand Isle in fabulous pictures of nature in its finest, that view would transfer to St. Charles and the rest of the basin and all of coastal Louisiana which suffers from the same threats of erosion.
Grand Isle is normally noted as a fisherman’s paradise where one can embark on a boat and hook some of the finest fish in the Gulf. But it is more than that.
There is some history down there written by the likes of Jean Lafitte and his encampment on nearby Grand Terre Island where they lived. In fact, Lafitte’s team used a giant oak tree on Grand Isle as their post office where they attached notes to each other. It is dead now, long taken by the hurricanes.
Also scheduled during the week of the exhibition will be the Grand Isle Migratory Bird Celebration on April 17, which will offer guided tours of migratory birds, bugs, plants and historical homes.
Nature journaling for children will be a special event featuring life on the island in the 1800s and special guided birding tours with naturalist Stephen Shunk portraying John James Audubon. The celebration will headquarter at the Grand Isle school on Ludwig Land with tours minimally priced.
One might consider Grand Isle to be the main barrier island out there protecting St. Charles Parish. We certainly owe a lot to its continuance in that respect.
And it also deserves a status as a historic and artistic centerpiece along the fabulous Louisiana Gulf Coast.
We need to keep it that way.