For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Lauren Lantry, (858) 334-5634 or

Tuesday: Climate Justice Leaders Join New Orleans Community Leaders to Discuss 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Event Organizers Discuss Environmental Justice Issues that Remain 10 Years After the storm

WASHINGTON - Next weekend marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which will be marked by commemorative marches, festivals and events in New Orleans remembering the disaster and highlighting the lingering -- and devastating - effects on Gulf Coast communities Around the world, climate disruption is fueling extreme weather events including massive hurricanes like Katrina and Rita, droughts, wildfires, and superstorms like Sandy. These extreme weather events disproportionately hit low income communities and communities of color – the people least responsible for the problems are the ones hardest hit -- and New Orleans is no different.

In the case of Katrina, the natural disaster was exacerbated by man made disaster, as government incompetence and corruption combined with inadequate levies, ensured residents of the Lower 9th Ward and other communities were unable to get emergency help in time. Since then, the oft-painted picture of a recovered New Orleans does not ring true for the very communities hit hardest by the storm.

But, at the same time, communities like the Lower 9th Ward are taking the initiative and leading the way to a clean energy future that cuts toxic pollution and allows Americans to take control of their energy future. Residents of the Lower 9 are 500% more likely to have solar than other residents of New Orleans because the community supports clean energy and energy efficiency.

On Tuesday, Sierra Club Executive Director, Mike Brune; Sierra Club President, Aaron Mair; Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy Director/Attorney and organizer of Gulf South Rising, Colette Pichon-Battle; Lower 9 Resiliency Festival Executive Director, Kim Ford; and SESS 4-5 of the New Orleans Katrina Commemoration Foundation and organizer of the 10th annual Katrina Commemorative March and Second Line, will talk about the challenges New Orleans faces post Hurricane Katrina, the work the Lower Ninth Ward is doing to combat climate disruption and the threat climate disruption continues to pose for New Orleans, and our planet as a whole.  

WHAT: Experts Hold Media Briefing on Climate Justice Issues in New Orleans

WHO: Speakers will include:

  • Michael Brune- Sierra Club Executive Director

  • Aaron Mair - Sierra Club President

  • Colette Pichon-Battle - Gulf Coast Law & Policy Director, organizer Gulf South Rising

  • Kim Ford - Lower 9 Resiliency Festival Executive Director

  • SESS 4-5 - of the New Orleans Katrina Commemoration Foundation and organizer of the 10th annual Katrina Commemorative March and Second Line, expected to be the largest second line ever.

WHEN: August 25th, 2015 at 12:00 PM EST, 11:00 AM CT

WHERE: 866‑952‑1906, ID: "Katrina"


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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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