The Bonnet Carré Spillway, located 33 miles upriver from New Orleans, is a swath of land designated for purposeful flooding during extreme conditions. By diverting water from the Mississippi River into Lake Pontchartrain, the 7000-foot floodgate relieves pressure on the river's levee system when active. Built in 1931 by the Army Corps of Engineers, the floodgate has been opened 14 times, with alarming regularity in the last decade, including an historic second seasonal opening in both February and May of 2019.
I believe the floodplain and its surroundings are emblematic of the ways we intersect with the natural world as our climate continues to change. With an interest in the landscape's history as a sugar plantation, its current use as a site for recreation, and its proximity to the petrochemical industry, my hope is that the resultant photographs will demonstrate how history, culture, and economics shape the landscape we inhabit.
This project is supported in part by a Guidebook grant from Antenna Gallery.