Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

New Orleans Convent Grounds Will Become Flood-Resistant Wetland Garden

Climate
New Orleans Convent Grounds Will Become Flood-Resistant Wetland Garden
An aerial photo shows a flooded New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on September 11, 2005. NOAA / Wikimedia Commons

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph was severely damaged by flooding.



The nuns moved elsewhere while repairs began. But the following year, lightning struck the roof and started a fire. The convent could not be saved.

"We began to pray for some kind of insight that would enable us to use the property in a way that would minister to the people of New Orleans," says Sister Pat Bergen.

She says an architect came to the nuns with an idea – converting the 25 acres into a wetland that helps prevent flooding in nearby areas.

They're calling the project the Mirabeau Water Garden. Plans for the site include recreational areas, meadows that absorb stormwater, and retention ponds.

When the city's drainage system is overwhelmed, water will be diverted to the property and held there until it can be safely released.

"Healing, strengthening, restoring Earth was a major part of our decision-making, and that's why this design resonated with our hearts right away," Bergen says.

So when the city breaks ground, it will turn what was once a major loss into a gain for the flood-prone city of New Orleans.

Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

People take a group selfie on top of Parliament Hill in north London, Britain, on Oct. 25, 2020. There have been "dramatic improvements in London's air quality" since 2016, Mayor Sadiq Khan announced. Xinhua / Han Yan via Getty Images

By Sean Fleming

Londoners worrying about air quality can now breathe a little easier, thanks to news from the city's mayor.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Japan's Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide poses for a portrait on September 14, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan, after being elected Liberal Democratic Party President. Nicolas Datiche / Pool / Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that Japan will become country carbon neutral by 2050, Bloomberg reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A caribou in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Danielle Brigida / CC BY 2.0

The Trump administration released on Friday its plan to start oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) this winter, as The Hill reported.

Read More Show Less
A memorial project installation of 20,000 American flags on September 22, 2020 in Washington, D.C. represents the more than 200,000 American lives lost to COVID-19. Win McNamee / Getty Images

By Derrick Z. Jackson

Officials at the highest levels are discussing the possibility of caving in on controlling the coronavirus and instead letting it run rampant throughout the United States until we reach "herd immunity," the point where the virus effectively runs out of people to infect. More than 6,200 scientists, health professionals, and research organizations say this is inhumane and have signed a memorandum rejecting herd immunity as a legitimate strategy.

Read More Show Less
Purdue researcher Joseph Peoples uses an infrared camera to compare the cooling performance of white paint samples on a rooftop. Purdue University photo / Jared Pike

By Kayla Wiles

What if paint could cool off a building enough to not need air conditioning?

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch