Fishermen Interested in Saving our Heritage (FISH) was founded in Cameron Parish, Louisiana in 2021 with a simple mission: Help fishermen and fight the liquified natural gas (LNG) industry. Cameron, a parish of 700 households along the shore, has become the epicenter of the Gulf Coast’s LNG expansion. Currently, five new LNG facilities are being built, with thirteen more either federally approved or proposed. These facilities are mainly about low-income and/or minority communities, exposing residents to regular “flaring” episodes, releasing dangerous chemicals whose health effects range from skin irritation and headaches to heart disease, certain types of cancer and damage to the reproductive system and internal organs. Additionally, the construction of these facilities has forced people from their homes and denied them access to docks and local waters. Through media campaigns, protests and other organized action, FISH is committed to protecting their community homes, health, environment, and their traditional way of life.
FISH is a small organization of three volunteer staff motivating a larger community-based coalition of fishermen and residents who have struggled amid a convergence of environmental and corporate crises. Hurricanes Ike and Rita in 2006 and 2008 reduced the town’s population by 76%. There are just over 300 residents of Cameron as of 2020—mostly working-class laborers and fishermen. What wasn’t destroyed by the storm is now under threat from the LNG boom. Travis Dardar, an indigenous fisherman whose family was already displaced from his hometown of Isle de Jean Charles, began FISH with his wife Nicole after being forced off of his land by a new LNG export facility. Since then, their stated purpose has been to help prevent other families from experiencing the same pain. FISH has fought to amplify their story and push back the tide of industry development. These efforts are exemplified by the organization of a fishing boat regatta on the Calcasieu River to protest the nation’s largest LNG summit in Lake Charles. The success of FISH will be measured in the protection of homes and the preservation of access to gulf waters through changes in local zoning laws, EPA enforcement, and advocating on the national level to end the permitting of oil and gas export terminals.
For more information:
Travis Dardar, Founder
Erosion-Subsidence, Flooding, Hurricanes
Environmental Justice Concerns
Air Pollution, Fighting Development/Destruction of Wildlife/Extinction of Species, Fracking/Oil and Gas Development/Pipelines, Groundwater Contamination, Hazardous/Toxic Sites, Hypoxia (Oceanic Dead Zones), Industrial Agriculture/Animal Waste, Lead Contamination, Noise/Light Pollution, Port/Transit/Highway Contamination/Noise, Sewage/Sewage Treatment
Community Organizing, Fighting Industrial Contamination, Legal/permit challenges to development, contamination, pollution, etc, Policy Reform, Risk mapping and/or monitoring e.g. flooding/contaminants etc
501c3 Tax Deductible