Sustainability & Resilience
Location: Bayou Savauge, New Orleans, Louisiana
Featuring: Peter Gerica
In 2005, a Gulf Coast fisherman named Peter Gerica lost everything to Hurricane Katrina. The storm surge destroyed his property and left Peter in a tree with only the clothes on his back. He rebuilt the house — this time on stilts — and got new boats in time to experience the BP oil spill in 2010. For Peter, sustainability means survivability as well, but it’s a also a tribute to his indomitable spirit.
Sustainability is any species, (including Gulf Coast Fisherman and Louisiana Blue Crabs) that withstands the impacts of all user groups upon it, while maintaining equilibrium throughout its life cycle.
When I ask Peter Gerica how his crab business survived both Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, he says, “You have to just keep moving forward.” A third generation fisherman, Peter was completely wiped out after Katrina. “My house blew apart with us in it. We lost everything. Both my main boat and processing facility were destroyed. Rebuilding has been one step at a time. Repairing my most salvageable small boat first, working my way to buying a larger boat in late 2008. I am still in recovery mode today. Then there was the BP oil spill. The image of Lousiana seafood is something we are still fighting to restore today.”