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New Historic New Orleans Collection Exhibit Explores Louisiana’s Coastal Environment

NEW ORLEANS – Through images, objects and interactive multimedia installations, the Historic New Orleans Collection’s (HNOC) newest exhibit, “A Vanishing Bounty: Louisiana’s Coastal Environment and Culture” will open Friday, June 21, and explores both the region’s abundance of natural life and the threats to its welfare.

Visitors will experience the beauty and utility of cypress forests, learn about the people who have shaped the coast’s culture and its way of life and see (and hear) the wildlife that inhabits the region’s land, air and water.

In the marshes of Louisiana, where sediment-rich water mingles with the salt water of the Gulf of Mexico, plants, insects and animals coexist within a thriving ecosystem to which humans have also adapted. Waves of people—of Indigenous, African, European and Asian origin—have influenced the unique language, foodways and traditions that make coastal Louisiana distinct. This place is shared with a bountiful marine population, migratory and year-round birds and charismatic animals such as the alligator and the crawfish.

The coastal region’s rich animal life and other natural resources have made it an attractive place for human habitation. But coastal industries are a double-edged sword. The area is threatened by several factors—erosion caused by oil exploration and the destruction of cypress swamps, invasive species that threaten to crowd out native plants and animals, and climate change which raises sea levels and creates stronger hurricanes.

“’A Vanishing Bounty’ allows visitors to discover the abundance and fragility of Louisiana’s coastal region, where a vibrant ecosystem thrives alongside diverse human cultures,” says HNOC President and CEO Daniel Hammer. “Our newest permanent exhibit delves into the natural systems that make our state a sportsman’s paradise, helps us understand the threats to the region’s welfare and explore solutions for preserving its natural beauty and cultural significance for generations to come.”

From a rare second edition of John James Audubon’s double-elephant folio The Birds of America (one of the most important works of natural history ever created) to a selection of the beautiful duck decoys from the Stephens Family Collection, “A Vanishing Bounty” will tell a story rich in history, nature, culture and caution.

Visitors are invited to view “A Vanishing Bounty” beginning Friday, June 21, at HNOC located at 520 Royal St. in the French Quarter. Admission is free.

Support for “A Vanishing Bounty” comes from Entergy and FOX 8. To learn more, visit


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