Propeller announces 2022 Impact Accelerator Ventures (sponsored)

Propeller announces the 19 participants selected for its nationally recognized 2022 Impact Accelerator. This program catalyzes transformative social impact by supporting startup and growth entrepreneurs working to narrow disparities in community economic development, education, food, health and water. Our entrepreneurial community has endured disasters and challenges over the past several years. Forty percent of businesses do not reopen after disasters, another 25% fail in the year following a disaster, and 90% of small businesses fail within two years of disaster. At the onset of the pandemic, Black business ownership rates dropped 41% between February and April 2020.

Propeller and Thrive Nola name Flourish Horticulture as ’22 Water Challenge grand prize winner (sponsored)

Over the past decade, Propeller has awarded more than $200,000 to entrepreneurs through its PitchNOLA Series. Propeller and Thrive New Orleans announced that this year’s $10,000 Grand Prize and Audience Favorite Award will be awarded to Fabian Harper from Flourish Horticulture and an Audience Favorite prize will be awarded to Preston Robinson from Garden Picasso. On June 1, five local entrepreneurs pitched their solutions to improve our region’s water economy at the 11th annual The Water Challenge. The five finalists put forth water solutions that included green infrastructure, stormwater retention, sustainable housing and construction, and flood prevention. The June 1 event — sponsored by JPMorgan Chase AdvancingCities, New Orleans Business Alliance, Entergy and the city of New Orleans — featured a judges’ panel of industry leaders and experts, growth stage venture panel, a virtual address from Mitch Landrieu, the 61st mayor of New Orleans, and a total of $17,500 awarded to all finalists.

Earth Day celebration at ricRACK highlights methods to combat climate change

Keeping fabrics and used clothes out of the landfill is core to the mission of the non-profit organization ricRACK. On Friday (April 22), the textile recycler celebrated Earth Day with a variety of activities that support this and their other goals to help save the planet. “Earth Day has always been a special day to ricRACK,” said Alison Parker, the founding director of ricRACK. “Most people don’t associate sewing with the environment — but fashion, costumes, textile production and recycling all play an important role in climate change.” According to Business Insider, the fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions, is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply and pollutes the oceans with micro plastics.

Barcelo Gardens Farmer’s Market brings fresh produce to food deserts (sponsored)

Barcelo Gardens is on a mission to bring fresh produce to food desert areas! In a city known for food, there are a surprising number of food deserts in New Orleans. Finding fresh fruits and vegetables in some areas can be incredibly challenging. Barcelo Gardens Farmers Market is on a mission to fix that. To learn more about Ashley’s mission and Barcelo Gardens Farmers Market, visit the GoFundMe page and listen to her interview on GoFundMe’s podcast, True Stories of Good People.

Leaky turbine spewing oil on Carrollton Power Plant neighbors, WWL-TV reports

The state Department of Environmental Quality released a report confirming neighbors’ complaints that one of the Sewerage & Water Board’s aged turbines is leaking oil and spewing it over their property, the latest in a series of hazards surrounding the Carrollton Power Plant, David Hammer reported on WWL-TV. As the S&WB spends millions to fix the outdated equipment that runs the city’s critical drainage and water pumps, the continual equipment failures damage Carrollton-area neighbors’ quality of life. An agency spokeswoman told Hammer the S&WB will meet with neighbors and is working with its insurance company on property damage claims and with turbine maker GE to schedule diagnostic tests on Turbine 5.

All Things Green and Glittery at ricRACK pt.1 (sponsored)


The future of second-hand thrift is here! Since 2012, ricRACK has been a place for the community to learn how to sew, create, grow, imagine, re-use, sustain, and succeed. Founder Alison Parker not only brings high-quality second-hand clothing to the Big Easy, but with it adds sewing classes for all ages and is now adding textile recycling to the mix. 2022 is not only bringing new students and learning, but also a chance for ricRACK to grow and provide more services to the community. Revolutionizing the clothing industry, the prominent consignment shop is introducing textile recycling to the New Orleans metro area.

How and why to recycle your Christmas tree for coastal restoration

When you take down your Christmas tree on Jan. 6 — the day we transition from red and green to purple, green and gold — set it aside. It can be turned into a gift to Louisiana’s fragile coastline. The city’s solid waste contractors will be collecting the trees for recycling between Jan. 10 and Jan.

Tulane University to study water quality in Louisiana following Hurricane Ida

From Tulane University

The National Science Foundation has awarded a Tulane University researcher a RAPID grant to study how pollutants from flooding caused by Hurricane Ida may have affected groundwater and water systems in south Louisiana. Louisiana and other coastal states face hazards like superstorms and hurricanes that can expose groundwater and water systems to chemical or microbial contaminants that may have serious implications for human health. Samendra Sherchan, associate professor of environmental health sciences at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, will lead a team collecting water samples at more than 150 sites in Houma, LaPlace, Slidell and other areas at different time intervals during the next six months to gain a better understanding of the impacts of extreme flooding on water quality and the mobilization of contaminants in coastal groundwater systems. Ida made landfall as a Category 4 storm near Port Fourchon on Aug. 29, bringing coastal storm surges, heavy rainfall and catastrophic flooding to many rural areas in southern Louisiana. “Such large-scale flooding has the potential to transport chemical agents and microbial pathogens and contaminate groundwater,” Sherchan said.

Tulane scientist to lead research project on sustainability of Gulf of Mexico ecosystem

From Tulane University

Ehab Meselhe, a professor in the Tulane Department of River-Coastal Science and Engineering, has received a $125,000 grant to plan the creation of an online forecasting tool to help scientists, ecologists and engineers evaluate how freshwater diversion and other coastal restorations projects may impact marine mammals, shorebirds, barrier islands and fisheries from the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. Meselhe received one of 20 planning grants totaling $2.3 million for a project that aims to develop a management and forecast system directly accessible to resource managers through a web-based dashboard. “It’s a preliminary step toward the development of urgently needed management tools for natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico,” Meselhe said. “It was very competitive, and I am so excited to receive one of these planning grants.”

The grant from the NOAA Restore Science Program aims to fund research that reduces the uncertainty around the management of natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico region. “The team of resource managers and researchers that Dr. Meselhe has assembled will work together to develop a publicly accessible river management and forecast system to explore the tradeoffs between different restoration strategies in the lower Mississippi River as well as examine how to optimize river inflows to reach restoration targets,” said Julien Lartigue, director of the Science Program.

Irish Channel residents work to combat noxious fumes, reports

Irish Channel residents joined forces with residents of Jefferson Parish’s west bank to rid themselves of a noxious smell that has been wafting through their neighborhoods and into their homes for the past two years, Halle Parker reports on, prompting 850 complaints with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. The DEQ identified a west bank bulk liquid storage complex known as BWC Harvey as a possible culprit and has installed an air monitor on Tchoupitoulas Street. The citizens group, backed by the New Orleans City Council, is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Gov. John Bel Edwards to suspend BWC Harvey’s pollution permit for review.