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June 9, 2021

GNO, Inc. Releases Animated Video Series for Students to Learn About Coastal Restoration

Greater New Orleans, Inc., in partnership with the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation and Louisiana Children’s Museum, is proud to release a series of animated videos for Louisiana children to learn more about coastal restoration. The concept for these videos was developed by GNO, Inc.’s Coalition for Coastal Resilience and Economy (CCRE), a nonpartisan business leader group that advocates for sustainable coastal restoration efforts in Louisiana.

“As our state continues to prioritize coastal restoration, it is imperative that our residents are taught key principles and solutions, from a young age,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “This video series is a fun and proven way to deliver information to young students, in order to help them become effective champions for our coast.  We thank our partners at the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation and Louisiana Children’s Museum for their work to help bring this project to life.”

The three videos, produced by Fat Happy Media, describe the complexities of our state’s relationship with the coast from the viewpoint of Mary Anne the Pel-I-Can, an animated pelican who tours the viewers through her surroundings in the wetlands and beyond. Her storytelling features details that include the role that levees play in impacting the wetlands, an overview of how the Coastal Master Plan works, and the impact that working together as a community can do to help our coast and state.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to work diligently to protect the environment and the Coastal Master Plan is important to saving the Louisiana coastline,” said Edwin Kidd Hunter of the Joe. W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation. “Collaborative based projects among organizations such as GNO, Inc., the Louisiana Children’s Museum, and the distribution network dedicated to making these videos available to all are instrumental to further K-12 student’s understanding of the need for an integrated protection and restoration plan for Louisiana.”

The videos will be showcased to students around the state through multiple programs, with more to follow in the future:

  • Louisiana Children’s Museum – The museum will be using the videos as part of the lessons to be presented to children during camp sessions throughout the summer. Moving forward, the museum plans to incorporate the videos into the physical space and ongoing educational programming for local students.
  • Louisiana’s Youth Wetlands & Education Outreach Program – This program, in partnership with CPRA, reaches over 300 teachers and over 2000 students at schools around the state.  Leadership from the group has developed activities to accompany the videos to provide further context for the videos.
  • UNO’s Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences Coastal Education Program– This program hosts field trips for numerous schools in our region.  The videos will be utilized as a tool in their educational toolbox to compliment the students’ coastal field trip experiences.
  • Lighthouse Museum – Operated by the Pontchartrain Conservancy, the videos will be shown in the Lighthouse Museum’s exhibit as well as the Pontchartrain Conservancy’s experimental lab adjacent to the museum.
  • Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED) – CSED will facilitate the CSED Coastal Restoration Mini-Summer Workshops, in which programming is being developed specifically around three coastal videos produced by GNO, Inc.  The program will comprise of three one-week sessions that will include the preview of one of the three videos each week and be accompanied by keynote discussions led by environmental leaders, hands-on activities, and site visits to coastal habitats within local wetlands and coastal communities that will further enhance education and development around each video.

“The Louisiana Children’s Museum has prioritized building water literacy with our youngest citizens to better understand the resilience of our city and region,” said Julia Bland, Chief Executive Officer of the Louisiana Children’s Museum. “Our museum’s location – situated on a lagoon in the middle of New Orleans City Park – and our interactive exhibits on water management are tremendous complements to the video series, providing knowledge and inspiration for the next generation of environmental engineers and advocates.”

In addition to these education partnerships, the videos can be found on the GNO, Inc. website at https://gnoinc.org/coastal and will be shared through a series of social media campaigns.